FEBRUARY 20, 1986
 
MURDERER TALKS ABOUT HOW MIKE WAS KILLED
  The following recorded conversations were recorded after Lionel Cormier, Percy Sargent and Richard Sargent were arrested for two armed robberies on Charles Dolan. They were recorded five months before Richard's July 1986 trial and six months before Cormier's August 1986 trial. Cormier was incarcerated at the Penobscot County Jail while waiting for his trial and Richard was out on bonds. The conversations concerned their up coming trials and Mike's murder. The conversation happened five years after Cormier and Paul Pollard killed Mike. Richard Sargent is a brother to Percy Sargent who sent the call to have Mike "taken care of." Shuman and Deputy AG Brannigan told me that Mike's murder couldn't be solved because no one would talk. I believe that the sheriff's department listened to these calls between Richard Sargent and Cormier because Cormier was incarcerated at the county jail when they occurred. 

The first conversation begins with Richard reading from State Fire Inspector Wilbur Ricker’s fire report, He says to Cormier “That fire was not from natural causes. The fire was even all around. No area disclosed heavy burn that would be evident had a fire of some natural cause taken place ...” [Cormier finds this funny and has a good laugh.]
  
   Richard: Herrin saw a man running, wiping his hands.

   Cormier: He wasn’t wiping his hands, he had his gun in his hands1

This info was verified during Cormier's August 1986 trial when his Defense Attorney Martha Harris questioned Pollard:

   "That's the same gun you had the night of Michael Cochran's murder too, wasn't it?"

   Pollard said, "I had it at the camp, yes."

   "What kind of gun was that?"

   "Smith and Wesson .357." 

   "Did you take it with you when you left the camp?"

   "Yes."

   Richard: Why did he [Pollard] end up in the State Hospital?

   Cormier: He was depending on drugs and he flipped out, it was causing him to have delusions. He was eating PCP and he flipped out.

   Richard: How long after the fire did he go in the State Hospital?

   Cormier: One year later, 1982.

This info was verified by Pollard’s so called father when his deposition was taken in August of 1989. Owen Pollard was the director of Vocational Rehabilitation for the State of Maine.
  
    Richard:
Did he have his gun on him when you picked him up?

    Cormier: I went back and got that.

    Richard: How was his frame of mind?

   Cormier: ...A couple days after he was pretty flakey too. He heard the pigs were after him and he ran into the woods behind the house.

    Richard: Why?

   Cormier: Because he didn’t want to get busted by the pigs?

   Richard: For what?

   Cormier: For this murder thing. He didn’t want to talk to the pigs. Spent a whole day out back of the house. I gave him a walkie-talkie. Percy was at the house. Went outside, the State Police were outside, talked to them for a while then they split, then I went after Carla [Phair Cormier's girlfriend]. Paul was still in the woods, I talked to him on a walkie-talkie, I told him the pigs were here.

In a Feb. 12, 1985 statement Det. Shuman took from Pollard in Massachusetts Pollard said, "The next morning a trooper came to the house looking for us, Lionel and Carla were there and I was in a back room. Lionel told the trooper that I had moved. When Lionel told me about the trooper looking for me I got scared.
   Later a sheriff came to the house, I was home alone and let him in and talked to him. [This was Penobscot County Sheriff Glen Ross. Pollard gave a voluntay statement saying he fired 5 bullets into the Young residence in Old Town, Maine.] Lionel later screamed and hollered at me for talking with the police. Lionel was very upset. I went out behind the house and hid in the woods. Percy came out later and we both stayed in the woods until that night.


   Richard:
I think Paul probably shot him first.

   Cormier: I wouldn’t doubt it.

   Richard: Think they got in a fight or something.

   Cormier: They had to. Cochran’s a lot bigger than Paul is. Paul carries a gun on him all the time, he could have shot a hole in him as big as a grapefruit ... Smith and Wesson, Model 29 .357. Had it until I took him to Rhode Island and never saw it again.

 
Cormier’s info about the gun never being seen again after Pollard fled the state is not true. During Cormier's August 1986 trial Ms. Harris asked Pollard:

     "Did you take your gun with you?"

     "No, I don't think so."
  
     "Do you have any idea where you left it?"

     "No, I don't remember."

    "But you're sure that you had it about a month later when you went over to Mr. Dolan's house [During the March 27, 1981 armed robbery]?"

     "Yes, I did have it then."

     When Richard asks Cormier "Think Paul’s a hostile witness."

    Cormier replies, "In order to make sure I gotta pay. I got an inside tip on someone’s going to take care of him, [The same as Percy Sargent's call from the Penobscot County Jail to have Mike taken care of.] haven’t got all the things worked out on it yet, but pretty sure, I think it will work. It’s on Paul. All right. My girlfriend should call and tell me and I will be all set." (Carla Phair, Cormier's girlfriend who alibied him.)

     Richard: "What time did you pick Paul up?"

    Cormier: "About 10:30 or about. I’m not worried about it. The most they can do is arrest me for it, and we go to court.  [A phone bill of Cormier's shows that he called Richard Sargent in Auburn at 8:13 AM the morning Mike was murdered and they spoke for 31 minuets. Immediately after hanging up he received the staged call from Pollard at 8:44 AM.] Go down and squeeze somebody’s head."

    Richard: Who? Paul. I don’t even know where he is.

   Cormier: Well you could find him. I could give you the information and you could find him.

   Richard: Jesus!

   Cormier: ...The reason they are keeping this so hush-hush, the news messed it up so bad with you. ... I [saw] in the paper the other day Cochran’s fifth anniversary [February 18, 1986] of being dead. I flipped out when I saw it. I though they were doing it just to bust my balls but it’s his mother. ... So I guess she’s still f****** hot on the f****** trail to find out who killed him. Paul did it."

   Richard: "How do you know?

   Cormier: "Like he asked me a long time ago, if he ever wasted somebody, you know, if he shot em, and what would be the best way to get rid of all the evidence.I said you could cremate the dude, you know, it must have stuck in his head."

   Richard: Shuman is questioning him about the murder.

   Cormier: Yeah, I know he has. ...What’s Shuman got a hair across his s** over me about it. ... Well, he tried to stick you with it. Couldn’t get you, now he’s trying to get me.

   Richard: Think he’s [Paul] too sissified to have done it?

   Cormier: You don’t have to be too heavy to pull a .357 out and blow a hole in somebody, especially a 158 grade hollow point.

   Richard: No s***. What would that do?

   Cormier: Blow a hole the size of a grapefruit....

   Richard: Paul’s going to say you did it. Paul’s going to say you was the main man. There was gas down there?

Cormier: Gas down there on the other side. Fatso [Percy Sargent] and Paul had put there. grabs a gun and comes out and wastes him [A man by the name of Cross called me and said he heard a woman on his police scanner say she saw two men walking one man and then a gun shot.] Flips out that he did it, goes out gets the gas, comes in burns the place down, then splits, waits until the place is burned so bad before he leaves [the position of Mike's body by the door is like he was dumped inside the cottage]. ...You know something about that fire? Is Paul’s timing... Yeah, see he called me up right after Carla left at 7 o’clock [8:44 AM]. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, that puts him there right after the fire. The fire went down at 4 o’clock had to wait around to o’clock.

   Richard: ...he might have killed Cochran

   Cormier: I know he did. He probably shot the f****** fool, then burned the place down, get rid of all the physical evidence he couldn’t get his hands on [?]. ... So the fire ... by the time they [Fire Department] got there ... probably started about half hour before...

   Richard: It was really going strong?

   Cormier: Oh yeah, it was out of control. ...Five years ago today I took him to Rhode Island, you know who was with me? Percy. You know whose car I took? Bob Smith’s

Cormier is wrong about the date he, Pollard and Percy Sargent fled the State of Maine. Percy wasn’t bailed from the county jail until the 21st of February. And I believe it was after Fire Inspector Ricker surprised Percy and Cormier at the arson/murder scene on the 24th and Pollard was arrested for forgery at the Bangor PD that the three fled the state.

   Richard: Why did he go down there?

   Cormier: Because he was paranoid. He didn’t want to go to jail for murder.

   Richard: So, that fire was going that much at that time, he had all the time in the world to take off. Why did he want to see it ...see if it really went up?

   Cormier: Make sure the crime was complete. ... The reason he said he woke up the timbers were crashing. All right, the place was burning down like that, you’re going to be putting your clothes on? He claimed he couldn’t even sit up because the smoke was so intense. Think about ... had his gun though. He’s guilty, who else could have done it?

   Richard: Well, might be looking for a scapegoat.

   Cormier: Well, I am not going down for a f****** murder wrap, Dick. Murder-arson, that’s a f****** 50 years, plus I got ... I am looking at another ... I’ll get a hundred years for this...

   Richard: You know and all they’ve got is Paul, right, and he’s not too good ... trustworthy. ...But, if he’s saying that you did it.

   Cormier: That makes it ...I know, viable. Could be true. ...I got Carla Phair, man, I was in bed with the bitch. ...I was in bed, she got ready to leave at six o’clock, she left at six o’clock, so if I got there, set the fire and come back. That’s impossible, no way, I couldn’t do it. Listen, there is no way I could do it, EVEN IF I DID DO IT there’s no way I could leave the house, drive there, come back without her knowing it. Give me a break, Dick.

    Richard: "People can put Paul there at the fire.
   
    Cormier: Oh, I know, we can put him there, you and your mother and your sister heard him say he was there.

    Richard: He knew then Cochran had gone up in smoke.

  Cormier: F****** right he knew.

   Richard: So, that morning that I was there, right, Paul said that Cochran had got burned to death in the fire.


At Richard's July 1986 trial Richard told me that Cormier and Pollard was at his mother's house a few hours after they murdered Mike. Richard said that Cormier told him, his sister and mother about the fire and that Mike’s body would be found in the fire. But in his conversation with Cormier he agrees with Cormier that it was Pollard who said it. For some reason he doesn’t confront Cormier about it.

   Cormier: Well, I’ll tell you what, it’s not over until the fat lady sings, I am telling you, if he gets ...I want immunity to testify against that f****** punk, you know. I’ll put him in f****** ... I’ll put him in f****** State Prison for twenty five ... I’ll think nothing of it.

   Richard: "But wait a minute now, how come he hasn’t been indicted, right, the evidence is there to indict him...

   Cormier: ...I don’t know what to say, just wanted to fill you in on what’s happening, not much to say except f****** Paul is the one that’s going to try hang me.

   Richard: What’s he going to hang you for?

  Cormier: Twenty-five, forty, fifty years. ...Well, he’s a f****** murderer.

   Richard: Then how come they haven’t indicted you for murder yet?

   Cormier: I don’t know, they are waiting. ...If they can’t convict me on this murder, I mean this robbery thing they will get me for the murder thing.

   Richard: You think Paul’s going to say he called ya ... you come down?

   Cormier: "I don’t know he might. ...Dick, I would spend the rest of my life...I would spend literally the rest of my life to hunt him down.

   Richard: You think he’s going to go with that story?

   Cormier: ...did you try ...did you call Lionel up? Did you come over? Did he set the fire? ...Yeah, well they didn’t say that on him... they said that to Carla? Yeah, she told me. She wanted to know what I... I had anything to do with it and I said nothing. Then, she says, well, ...that I know for sure you stayed in bed with me that night or did you get up, go over there and set that fire and come back.  

   Richard: That leaves Paul at the scene of the crime....

   Cormier: We know more about this thing than anybody else. Seems, we definitely know more about it than the pigs.

   Richard: I don’t know, I think they’re on to something now, though...

   Cormier: What can I say, every man for himself here, right. Going to have to turn state evidence against him. Now how is he going to say, he’s ...little a** hole unless, Shuman, you know, Shuman, he’d do anything to bust us on this one. ...You know that more than I ...he stepped over the line to try and bust you

   Richard: Really, you know, intimidating witnesses, bribery. Tampering with witnesses.

   Cormier: Now you tell me he’s not in on it.

I wonder what Cormier means by his statement of Shuman being in on it? I know there was certainly something wrong with Shuman's investigation of Mike's murder. He worked hard to try cover it up. He was in DA David Cox's office when he threatened me with charges saying I knew Mike's whereabout and not turning him in. Mike tried to turn himself in but Cox rejected that.  
  
   Richard: So you think Paul’s going to do it?

   Cormier: He’s going to spill his guts, that’s what my lawyer says. ... now if he spills his guts that means everything. Murder, robberies, everything.   
  

   Richard: How else can he get around that murder except for putting it on you?


   Cormier: Can’t blame it on Cochran. He’s the f****** simpleton that got wasted.
  
   Richard: ...that next morning ...we was talking there...come out there, Cochran had gone up in the fire. So Paul knew he had gone up in the fire.

   Cormier:
Right, that’s right, he told all of us Cochran was in there. See, your mother and Linda, you and me and him was in the kitchen, in the trailer.

   Richard: Yea, and he knew that morning that Cochran had gone up in the fire, he knew it.