Update: Antonio Cochran was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.
The 12 jurors did not determine that the crime was capital murder (when a felony is committed in the act of murder). This could have resulted in life without parole for Cochran. The verdict means the jury could not unanimously determine whether an abduction took place during the murder.
WFAA reports that the Hastings family was upset at the announcement, which could result in anywhere from five to 99 years in prison. Before the trial began, the death penalty was ruled out because the court determined that Cochran has an intellectual disability.
Hastings went missing after returning a DVD at a Walgreens on Garland Road. The case against Cochran was built on his DNA being present on the murder weapon, cell phone records and the fact that he could not be excluded from the DNA evidence resulting from sexual assault.
The district attorneys relied on witness testimony, but none of the eyewitnesses could identify Cochran as the killer and differed in their accounts of the parking lot confrontation.
The punishment phase of the trial begins Monday morning.
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