After learning her daughter had been sexually assaulted, Cheryl Hastings, a registered nurse, became certified to conduct exams for rape victims.
“I felt like those people need someone for them in a vulnerable time of their life,” she testified Thursday.
Jurors were shown photos of the bloody crime scene, where Hastings was found in the fetal position, her clothing in disarray and knife wounds on her wrist and neck.
During the two-week hunt for her killer, investigators quickly zeroed in on Cochran, whom they called a “sexual predator.”
DNA evidence found on the murder weapon was matched to him. His fingerprints weren’t found at the crime scene, but DNA from Hastings’ rape kit didn’t exclude Cochran as a suspect.
Defense attorney Paul Johnson said the evidence proves only that Cochran handled the knife, not that he used it to kill Hastings.
Knives like the murder weapon, Johnson said, are common at the Cinemark movie theater where he worked,