Cochran Sentenced for Threatening County Attorney
The man guilty of threatening to kill Pine County Attorney John Carlson will be back on the streets in ten days. Robert Cochran, 43, was sentenced, Tuesday, in Pine County Court. Judge Krista Martin handed out a 250 day sentence, with credit for time served. Cochran already served 240 days. Carlton County Attorney Thomas Pertler represented the prosecution. He talks about Tuesday’s sentence.
Pertler said he does not know why Cochran targeted Carlson in his threats. Judge Martin told Cochran that his threats effected not only Carlson, his family, and colleagues, but the entire Pine County Community. She said, “when you commit an offense like this, it has ripples that effect many people.” Martin added, “you terrorized an entire system.”
In a victim impact statement, county attorney Carlson requested Cochran serve a year behind bars. Martin elected not to give Cochran a year because she said this allows more time for treatment. Pertler explains.
Cochran, who chose not to comment Tuesday, will undergo a chemical assessment. He is also sentenced to five years probation and is not to use drugs, alcohol, or any other mood altering substances.
Cochran’s attorney Dan Bina says that Cochran has no place to live once he is released and says there is no indication that he will move out of the state of Minnesota. Bina said, “he is homeless, he has no means to provide for himself, he sees staying in jail as a pretty good option.” Cochran wrote the threatening letters while in incarcerated in North Carolina and was arrested in Arizona in January.
Cochran entered a plea of guilty on April 23rd to one count of Terroristic Threats for threatening Carlson.
According to the criminal complaint, Cochran sent Carlson a letter from a North Carolina jail in June 2008 stating, “when I get out of here I’ll come kill you. You see I have nothing left to (lose) and I just don’t care….I’ve already killed twice so one more won’t matter,” in reference to Carlson. The letter also alleges that Cochran committed a homicide in 1996 and then killed another person in addition to the ‘96 murder.
Investigators from Pine County and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted an investigation. They determined Cochran’s claims were without merit.