Victim to shooter at sentencing: ‘I’m not mad; hope you find what you need, bro’

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Desmond Cochrane, charged with a shooting in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The man who was shot by Desmond Cochrane told a judge Friday all Cochrane had to do was talk to him.

Just talk. They could have cleared it all up with no one going to the hospital or prison.

“I’m not upset at all. I’m not mad,” the victim told Judge John Durkin in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. “I’m more disappointed he didn’t come talk to me.”

Cochrane, 25, was sentenced to 5 to 6 years in prison for shooting the man in the leg at West LaClede Avenue and Hillman Street on Sept. 9, 2019.

Cochrane pleaded guilty in June to a charge of felonious assault.

His girlfriend at the time, Aliyah Taylor, was also expected to be sentenced Friday for her role in the shooting but after Cochrane was sentenced, her attorney, Ed Hartwig, made a motion to withdraw her plea.

Judge Durkin will rule on the motion at a later date, but he continued her sentencing hearing.

Assistant Prosecutor Joe Maxin said Taylor drove Cochrane to shoot the victim, who was shot as he was walking home from a nearby store. Cochrane got out of a car Taylor was driving and fired six shots, hitting the victim in the leg.

The victim later got a video of the shooting and gave it to police.

Because of the video, Maxin said Cochrane and Taylor hatched a plot to kill the victim but that was thwarted after a witness recorded the conversation.

Defense attorney Ross Smith said his client had no involvement in that plot and that it was the brainchild of Taylor. Smith also said his client did not intend to kill the victim. Smith said his client was far away when he fired the shots and even the victim told police he did not think Cochrane meant to kill him.

Taylor instigated the events by falsely accusing the victim of sexually assaulting her, Smith said. By the time Cochrane found out that wasn’t true, he had been in jail for 11 months.

“In his heart, he had to believe his girlfriend,” Smith said.

Maxin credited the lead investigator on the case, Detective Sgt. Chad Zubal, with talking the victim out of taking revenge and also piecing the case together.

Cochrane said Taylor misled him.

“I was manipulated into believing I was defending a just cause,” Cochrane said.

Judge Durkin said he found it “refreshing” to hear the words the victim said. Judge Durkin said the case is an example of the trend where people settle disputes with words instead of guns.

The victim said he wished Cochrane well.

“I hope you find what you need, bro,” he told Cochrane.

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