Judge Plants Meth w/Hoe-Has Eye On Batesville MS Mayorship When He's Out
A federal jury in Rome found a former Murray County magistrate judge Bryant Cochran guilty on all counts of civil rights violations on Thursday.
Cochran was accused of ordering a deputy to plant drugs on woman's car. This, after Angela Garmley accused him of sexual misconduct in 2012.
Cochran was also charged with violating the civil rights of two clerks in his office - one by illegally searching her cell phone, the other through sexual harassment.
The jury found him guilty on all of those counts after deliberating Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.
Cochran chose not to testify.
The Rome News Tribune reports that FBI agent Tim Coakley testified there were calls between Cochran and the arresting officer Josh Greeson a few days before Garmleys arrest on August 14, although not about the subject of those calls.
At that arrest, prosecutors say, Cochran passed on specific information to Mike Henderson, who was a Murray County Sheriff's Office captain and his cousin, about where the meth was on Garmley's Dodge Challenger, which was white with red racing stripes.
It was in a magnetic Camel Snuff can under the drive's side of the car.
But, the question remained, where did Cochran get that information?
Cochran later told investigators Winkler gave it to him.
Garmley's attorney, McCracken Poston, tells NewsChannel9 "I am proud the government took the case and brought the case. And that a lot of shocking things came out and were proved."
Back in 2012, an investigator with Georgia's Judicial Qualifications Commission also learned Cochran pre-signed blank search and arrest warrants, leaving police to fill in whatever information they wanted. In a public statement released through attorney Chris Townely at the time, Cochran wrote "I accept full responsibility for the warrants that were pre-signed. This is SOLELY the reason for my resignation."
A civil rights violation is a felony, which means he will spend time in federal prison.
His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. in U.S. District Court.