The legal counsel for a Kokomo man facing charges related to a fatal hit-and-run accident that left a 10-year-old dead is attempting to throw out evidence in the case, claiming blood draws and statements were obtained against the man’s rights.
In August a hit and run on East Alto Road killed 10-year-old Renay Jenkins. The alleged driver, then-20-year-old Joshua Cochran, has remained in jail, facing charges of causing death when operating while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, leaving the scene of an accident committed after committing OWI, and possession of marijuana. His legal counsel, attorney Stephanie Doran, has filed two motions to suppress in the case, attempting to exclude both a blood draw officers obtained from Cochran and statements he made after the incident.
The first motion targets a blood draw officers obtained from Cochran after the accident at St. Vincent Hospital.
According to a probable cause affidavit, an officer transported Cochran to the local hospital after the August hit and run in order to obtain a blood draw, believing Cochran was impaired after he allegedly struck and killed Jenkins with his vehicle.
While at the hospital, court documents indicated Cochran was advised of the implied consent warning but refused a blood draw. Another officer then was contacted to type a search warrant request to obtain the blood draw. Then, another officer arrived at the hospital, “advised [Cochran] of the Implied Consent Warning again, but this time, after explaining everything again, [Cochran] stated he would give consent.”
However, in Doran’s filing she argued “any test results resulting from the blood draw were unlawfully obtained because law enforcement did not have a warrant nor did law enforcement have a knowing and voluntary consent” from Cochran.
Additionally, Doran claimed officers failed to advise her client of his right to consult with counsel before asking him to consent to a blood draw. This, she argued, violated his right to be free from unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment. As such, she asked Howard Superior II Judge Brant Parry to bar the resulting blood draw from being used as evidence in the case.
The second motion deals with statements Cochran made to officers after they located him at his home shortly after the fatal hit and run.
According to probable cause affidavits, officers approached Cochran in the garage of his home shortly after they responded to the location where Jenkins had been struck by a vehicle. They spoke to him in the garage, and an officer wrote in an affidavit, “I asked Joshua how old he was and once I learned he was an adult I advised him of his rights as they pertain to Miranda, to which Joshua said he understood. I asked Joshua if he was just involved in an accident and he said he was. I asked Joshua what happened and he said a lady was in the middle of the road, and that he didn’t see her. I asked what happened next and Joshua said he left. I asked if he hit her and he said he thought he did. Then Joshua said he stopped and exited his car to check on her, and thought she was okay, so he left.”
Doran, however, contended that statements made to officers “must be suppressed as the statements were obtained as a result of a custodial interrogation of the defendant and were obtained in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
In her filing, she claimed Cochran “did not knowingly and fully waive his right to remain silent and not otherwise incriminate himself … While law enforcement did read [Cochran] his rights under Miranda, law enforcement failed to obtain a knowing and voluntary waiver of those rights as also required. Instead, law enforcement read the Miranda rights, asked the defendant whether he understood those rights and immediately began interrogating the defendant without first determining whether the defendant, who was in custody at the time, was knowingly and voluntarily waiving his rights.”
As is the case with the blood draw, Doran seeks to have such evidence suppressed.
A two-hour hearing is scheduled for next month to argue the merits of the motions to suppress. The jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 8.