Man accused of killing two goes before judge

jmonk@thestate.comAugust 25, 2013 

Roger “Cliff” Cochran

— Almost six years after police say he entered a mobile home bedroom where his old girlfriend and her new boyfriend lay sleeping and riddled their bodies with bullets, Roger “Cliff” Cochran on Monday will stand trial for murder.

“He’s been in jail the whole time,” said his attorney, Jack Duncan of Lexington.

Cochran, 53, was charged based on the statements of two witnesses, who saw him enter the bedroom of Vicki Marcus, 50, and her new beau, Gary Stone, 52, who lived in the mobile home in the Siesta Cova campground on a peninsula along Lake Murray’s southern side off U.S. 378, according to a Lexington County Sheriff’s Department report. The area is near Gilbert.

One witness to the killings was Marcus’ then-14-year-old son; the other was her brother, 48 at the time, according to sheriff’s reports. They were in the trailer watching Monday Night Football at the time of the shootings.

Both witnesses are expected to be in court Monday.

The two victims were shot “multiple times,” according to the Sheriff’s Department. Marcus died at the scene; Stone was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital, according to sheriff’s reports.

After the shootings, Cochran stood outside the trailer for several minutes, then drove off in his red pickup truck, according to sheriff’s reports. Detectives arrested Cochran early the next morning at a relative’s home in the Red Bank community.

Sheriff’s records say he admitted killing Marcus and Stone shortly after his arrest.

People familiar with the case said it is likely that Cochran will plead guilty.

Prosecutors in the case declined comment until after Cochran’s case is disposed of.

Circuit Judge Robert Hood of Richland County is scheduled to preside. Any plea agreement would have to meet his approval; he would then pronounce sentence.

Duncan said he was appointed to the case last summer after the law license of Richard J. Breibart – the attorney Cochran retained after he was charged – was suspended by the S.C. Supreme Court. Breibart has since been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to stealing more than $1 million in clients’ money.

In an interview with The State at that time, Breibart said, Cochran suffers from “severe depression” and takes “several types of drugs.”

Breibart said he had not taken his depression medication for several days when he went to see Marcus that night.

“He has no prior record; he’s as clean as a whistle,” Breibart said. “He’s a welder, just a regular guy.”

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Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344.

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