Trial begins for Dallas man accused of killing Zoe Hastings

The man accused of killing 18-year-old Zoe Hastings is set to go to trial today.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s office originally intended to seek the death penalty for Antonio Cochran, but reduced the punishment to lifetime imprisonment after it was determined that he has an intellectual disability.

Cochran, 36, was ruled to have an IQ under 70, and it is illegal in Texas to execute someone with an intellectual disability.

In October 2015, Hastings was found dead in a Lake Highlands creek bed. The Booker T. Washington graduate was last seen at a Walgreens on Garland Road and was headed to a missionary class at The Church of Latter-day Saints in Lake Highlands.

At the time, Dallas Police said Cochran’s motive was sexual assault and that Hastings was a random victim. Cochran was charged with theft, assaulting a family member, burglary and possession of a controlled substance since 1998, according to police records.

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