MY TWENTY-FOUR YEAR OLD SON, MIKE
Maine State Police Detective Kenneth MacMaster says "TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE"
STATE OF MAINE COVER-UP OF MIKE COCHRAN MURDER|
A Man Is Found Murdered In The
Rubble Of A Cottage Destroyed By Fire|
JUST A DOG IN MAINE
January 23, 1987 - By T. J. Tremble
Allegations of a Maine State Police Cover-up reported
So, the Penobscot County DA's office was supplying the dangerous
criminal informants that were working with the Maine State
Police who were running the Maine DEA and doing the drug stings.
And the MSP were also the investigators on Mike's murder. They
had lost Mike his life using a criminal informant and were now
investigating themselves. Cover-up in Mike Cochran 41-year-old
Richard Sargent went on trial for an armed robbery in July of
1986. I attended the trial and met Richard Sargent,
Roger Johnson and William Myers, the men indicted for Mike's murder. It was now five years
and five months since Mike's murder and I was still trying to
find out who murdered Mike and why. The indictments against the
three men were dismissed in June of 1985, six months later. The
informant recanted her story and said Det. Shuman fed her the
story she told the grand jury.
There was also a trial in August for Lionel Cormier, Richard's
partner in the robbery. I attended both trials and learned
information that had been covered up in Mike's murder. During Richard Sargent's
trial his attorney, Hilary Billings, question Pollard and Shuman. I heard Shuman
say that he "had to talk with the District Attorney, Christopher Almy,
before any type of bargain was made" [about Pollard] "being free from
prosecution in the murder." During Lionel Cormier's trial his
attorney, Martha Harris, questioned Paul Pollard and Det. Shuman more
extensively than Billings had in July. I heard Paul Pollard say he had a
Smith and Wesson .357 on him when he fled into the woods away from the
murder scene and
I listened to Shuman lie to cover for Pollard. After I learned of
Pollard's crimes, I had to accept the fact that Shuman and Pinkham were
not honest when they told me Pollard was not guilty of Mike's murder and
that he neither saw nor heard anything. He woke, found the cottage on fire
Shortly after Richard's trial there was an article in the Bangor Daily, August
12, 1986 by A. Jay Higgins, with
the heading "Case of Criminal as Informant
And on the same day there was another article by Higgins with the heading "Attorney
Questions Value of Using Cooperating Crooks." On the 14th there was a Bangor Daily News Editorial
with the heading
Justice." that said
when Penobscot County District Attorney
Christopher Almy "calls placing the public at risk 'a small trade-off'
for getting a [drug] conviction he is wrong." There was
another article on the week-end of October 11-12, 1986
with the heading
Prosecutor Criticizes Drug Unit" by Higgins. The
article reported that "a high-profile prosecutor claimed that
"[D]ominance of the task force by the Maine State Police is
compromising the potential effectiveness of the unit."
So the Penobscot County DA's office was
supplying the dangerous criminal informants that were working with the
Maine State Police who were running the drug unit and doing the drug stings. And the MSP were also the investigators on Mike's murder.
They had lost Mike his life using a criminal informant and were
now investigating themselves.
As I read the articles, I thought
of Mike and how his
life was taken less than four hours after one of the State of Maine's undercover drug stings using a
dangerous criminal. Newspaper articles tell how Penobscot County District Attorney Almy was involved in the practice of using dangerous criminals to catch other criminals in drug stings in 1986. Almy
was Assistant DA under DA David Cox in 1981. I've wondered why
DA David Cox was so involved in Mike's murder. I've wondered
why the Maine
State Police had my meeting in March of 1981 in DA David Cox's office
and I've wondered why the Maine State Police
took all their statements at the Bangor Police Department and
Penobscot County DA Cox's office when Mike was murdered in
In my mind I thought the Maine State Police was a higher office
than a district attorney. But Cox seemed to be controlling
Mike's murder. I have proof that Cox was doing in 1981 what Almy was
doing in 1986 - using dangerous criminals to catch drug dealers
and something went wrong during their Feb. 18, 1981 DEA sting
that cost Mike his life. I've also wondered why Shuman, Pinkham
and Cox were so cold and hostile toward me. I now believe I was
a threat to their cover-up. No matter what evidence I found
there was something wrong with it. How high up did the cover-up
go? The Attorney General's Office hired my attorney eleven days
before my trial date against Paul Pollard and Shuman showed up
in court to testify for Pollard. They destroyed my lawsuit that
cost me $30,000 that I had borrowed against my home to get some
kind of justice for my son Mike.
January 23, 1987, three months after Higgins reported
Pasquale Perrino's resignation from the Maine anti-drug unit
there was more news about the Maine State Police. A reporter
with the Bangor Daily New
reported that the FBI was "investigating
charges of improper conduct leveled against several Maine State
Police troopers assigned to undercover drug work." And "among the allegations that reportedly have been made against the
police officers are that some of the troopers have had sexual
relations with female informants and that they coerced some
witnesses to lie in court."
From a review of my book by Alice De Stular
"Leola “Lee” McBreairty Cochran has written a
encyclopedic research manual about the development of
a covered-up true crime story,
the investigation, the trials, and the aftermath. She exposes
those who railroaded her and those who stood by her.
"Lee’s journey to discover the truth brings to the surface the
mess that is our justice system. The insensitivity when dealing
with victims’ family members, the disdain for the civilian, and
the disrespect for anyone who
dares to ask the authorities a question, must be exposed.
"I appreciate the details about Michael’s early life and the
honesty about his drug addiction. It is very personal; it brings
Michael to life on paper. And we need that.
"When a true crime book of this volume, over 600 pages, is
written in a novel style it is easy to lose the attention of the
reader. We cannot let that happen as Michael is too important.
His story is too important.
The cover-ups must be exposed.
"And the book is filled with a lot of pain. Reading how Michael
was found, gasoline poured over his
body while he was still alive after having been shot, and set on
fire, the book is heartbreaking. But despite all this,
this biggest release for me came at the end. After reading
through all the pain, the moment I broke down, and I cried a
good bit, was from page 505 onwards.
"Not all Mike’s body parts had been returned to the family. His
jawbones were still at the Medical Examiner’s Office. Lee had to
sign to receive them 21 years after his murder.
"‘A Maine Murder’ is a mix of a true crime, survival guide,
memoir, diary, trial transcript repository, and guidance for
other victim families. She has done a tremendous job and I
highly recommend you check
out this book."
Copyright© 2022 by Leola Cochran. All
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