DALLAS (AP) — A man accused of abducting an 18-year-old Dallas woman while she was on her way to church, stabbing her and leaving her to die was acquitted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl earlier this year.
Antonio Cochran, 34, is charged with capital murder in the death of Zoe Hastings, whose body was found Oct. 12 near her vehicle, which was in a creek. The Dallas Morning News and TV station KXAS reported Tuesday that a search warrant affidavit executed for Cochran's Dallas apartment provided new details on the attack, including that she was stabbed.
The warrant was executed Saturday, the day Cochran was arrested. He remained in Dallas County jail Tuesday on $2.5 million bond. His attorney, Paul Johnson, said he was still early in the fact-finding process and had no comment.
Cochran's mother, Linda Cochran, of Texarkana, told television station WFAA, "It don't sound like my son; he's not a violent person."
Hastings was headed to a class at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints late in the afternoon of Oct. 11 when she stopped at a Walgreens to return Redbox movies. The affidavit says a witness saw a man argue with her, then force her into her minivan's passenger seat. Her body was found the next morning.
The affidavit said DNA collected from the crime scene belonged to Cochran.
He has not been charged with sexually assaulting Hastings, but police called him "a sexual predator." He moved to Dallas after being acquitted of sexual assault earlier this year in Texarkana.
His attorney in that case, Rick Shumaker, told The Dallas Morning News that witnesses and even weather conditions contradicted the 17-year-old accuser in Bowie County. Cochran had argued that he had consensual sex with the girl. Shumaker's team suggested the accuser made the allegations only after police found drugs on the pair.
Shumaker said he hadn't heard from his former client since Cochran got released after he was credited with time served in a related methamphetamine possession case.
"He wasn't the kind of person I thought would have ever killed somebody," Shumaker told the newspaper.
Hastings graduated this year from Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She was the oldest of five children.
Her father, Jim Hastings, told WFAA that he's relieved that an arrest has been made but "at the same time, that's not what we were most concerned about."
"What we're most concerned about is that our children are going to be able to go back to school and that they're going to be able to handle the loss of their sister," he said.