Kelly Cochran, the 34-year-old from Merrillville, Indiana, who is accused of killing and dismembering her boyfriend and later murdering her husband by giving him an overdose of heroin, is competent to stand trial, according to court documents.
Prosecutors allege that on October 13, 2014, Cochran and her husband Jason Cochran, 34, made a plan to lure 53-year-old Christopher Regan, Kelly’s coworker and boyfriend, to her home for sex. Jason then walked in on Regan with his wife and shot him in the head with a .22-caliber rifle.
The couple then allegedly obtained an electric saw in order to dismember Regan’s body, put his remains in garbage bags and then dragged them deep into the Michigan woods before dumping them in the Iron River. The FBI searched the couple’s home in March of 2015, but found nothing.
Jason and Kelly moved away from the area, and in February 2016 Jason died of an apparent heroin overdose. Kelly held a memorial service, writing on Facebook: “This is the hardest thing I will ever have to deal with. Jason was my heart and my best friend and I am hoping he is watching over me and his family. He always knew how to light up a room with his smile and his kind words and laughter.”
But police suspected that the apparent suicide had a more sinister twist. Rolling Stone reports that the Indiana Lake County Coroner discovered that Jason had actually died from asphyxiation, not a heroin overdose, and Kelly had allegedly been “disruptive” while EMTs were working on her husband’s body. On April 28, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Kelly in Kentucky. According to the Post-Tribune, after being questioned she led investigators to an area where they discovered a human skull with an apparent bullet hole, bones, and bone fragments. Police also recovered a .22 caliber rifle, a .22 caliber bullet, and a pair of glasses at the scene.
Kelly has been charged with the death of her husband in Indiana, and in Michigan she has been hit with multiple charges related to Regan’s death including homicide; home invasion; “conspiracy to commit dead bodies,” which relates to her allegedly helping her husband “mutilate, deface, remove, or carry away a portion of a dead body”; and concealing the death of an individual, according to a criminal complaint published by the Iron Mountain Daily News. Cochran has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
But Iron County prosecuting attorney Melissa Powell clearly also alleges in court filings that Cochran has “claimed responsibility for the deaths of other individuals, which, if true, make her a serial killer.”
Viewing Kelly’s social-media postings in the months before the killings is an eerie experience given the alleged body count. She posted several photos from a cave in Ottawa National Park in July 2014 to a Facebook album, which is in the area where investigators say she dumped her boyfriend’s body just over three months later.
Her motive for killing her husband, investigators say, was revenge. According to the Post-Tribune, Cochran told police that she killed Regan in order to save her marriage, but later blamed her husband for “taking the only good thing I had in my life,” according to court records. She said: “I still hate him (her husband), and yes, it was revenge. I evened the score.”
Main photo: Kelly Cochran’s mugshot [Iron County Jail]