Zoe Hastings’ killer Antonio Cochran asks to be spared the death penalty

Zoe Hastings was kidnapped from the Redbox kiosk at a Walgreen’s at Peavy and Garland. (photo by Danny Fulgencio)
Zoe Hastings was kidnapped from the Redbox kiosk at a Walgreen’s at Peavy and Garland. (photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Zoe Hastings was an 18-year-old Booker T Washington grad with a strong sense of faith who posed with the Book of Mormon in a senior portrait and who dreamed of serving on mission trips.

Zoe Hastings

“She was always spreading the gospel,” her mother Cheryl Hastings said in a video interview in 2015.

Zoe’s life was cut tragically short when she disappeared on her way to church on Oct. 11, 2015, while returning a Redbox movie at the corner of Garland and Peavy. Her murdered body was found the next day, stabbed to death and laying outside the family’s minivan in a creek near the 11700 block of Dixfield Drive.

Her killer is asking the courts to spare his life, hoping for a leniency he did not show the neighborhood teen when he allegedly took her life. His DNA was found at the crime scene. FOX 4 reports that Antonio Cochran’s attorney says he is mentally disabled and should avoid the death penalty.

It is unclear what the Hastings family thinks of the request, but DFW CBS reports that a pool of 3,000 potential jurors are being surveyed to determine whether they’d be capable of imposing the death penalty if they found Cochran guilty. His trial is expected to start in October.

Antonio Cochran is accused of killing Zoe Hastings.
Antonio Cochran is accused of killing Zoe Hastings.

This isn’t Cochran’s first brush with the law. He has twice faced sexual assault charges in court, although he was not convicted in either case. Police say his motive for kidnapping Hastings was sexual assault.

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  • dormand

    I do not have direct access to the facts of the case, but I have read that Mr. Cochran was on trial in Texarkana for a heinous crime, but the jury poll was short of the unanimous twelve votes required for a guilty verdict.

    I have served on a capital offense trial jury and can attest to the fact that sometimes it is very difficult to obtain the twelve votes required for a guilty verdict, in spite of irrefutable evidence presented.

    I suggest that part of the problem is that as long as a significant portion of our society feels oppressed ( you might want to read “A Colony in a Nation” by Chris Hayes, ) our society will experience challenges in achieving unanimous verdicts in criminal justice trials, even with irrefutable evidence.

    Many say that the recent trial of one of the Dallas County Commissioners after a quarter century of FBI investigation after one outstanding investigative reporting piece in D Magazine by Laura Miller is one example of that hypothesis.


    Let me go on record as feeling that Mr. Price is in no way representative of other members of his race, many of whom have made substantial contributions to society.