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Roland H. COCHRANE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 2, 1935
Date of birth: March 2, 1908
Victim profile: Richard "Dick" Giles (gambler)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Executed by asphyxiation-gas in Arizona on October 2, 1935
 
 
 
 
 
 

Inmate 009880 Roland H. Cochrane

An information was filed in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, in and for the County of Maricopa, on January 26, 1935, charging the defendant, Roland H. Cochrane, with the crime of Murder, a felony,

Defendant was arraigned on January 28, 1935, and entered a plea of Not Guilty. Defendant was tried on February 12, the trial lasting until February 16th, 1935, on which date the jury returned a verdict of Guilty of Murder in the First Degree and Fix the Punishment at Death. On March 18, 1935, defendant was sentenced to Death on June 6, 1935.

The facts and circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime are as follows:

On the night of January 2, 1935, Otis Phillips and Horace Hunter went to the Royal Apartments, in the city of Phoenix, looking for another party that was supposed to be brought to the apartment to engage in a poker game, and in which game Hunter and Phillips were to cold deck the party and win some money, approximately $100 that this-party had.

Upon arriving at the apartment, Hunter and Phillips, who were gamblers, found that two more gamblers had gotten to the victim first and had steered him to another place to play cards.

Upon learning this, Hunter and Phillips called Roland Cochrane and Harold Burk, went to the bathroom of the apartment, and discussed the question of locating the two gamblers with the victim and hi-jacking the poker game to get the money in the game.

Hunter then suggested that there was a good poker game at Chandler, Arizona, which Dick Giles played in, along with other residents of Chandler, and that the parties all had considerable money at the game, and suggested that if they were going to hijack a poker game, that they hijack the Chandler game, to which all of the four assented.

Hunter was to learn when the parties were playing, and Cochrane or Burke, or perhaps both, were to do the actual robbing. Hunter and Phillips then went to the Avalon Club in Phoenix, and later in the evening Hunter informed Phillips that Richard (Dick) Giles was in the Avalon Club in Phoenix that night, and requested Phillips to go to the Royal Apartments and get Cochrane or Burke and bring him to the club and that he would point Giles out to Cochrane or Burke, and that Hunter would then take Giles out to Hunter's house in the city of Phoenix, where Cochrane or Burke would rob Giles by holding him up.

Phillips did go to the Royal Apartments, and brought Cochrane back to the club, and either Hunter or Phillips, or perhaps both, pointed Giles out to Cochrane, and planned the robbery of Giles at Hunterís home.

Hunter, Phillips, and Cochrane all joined in the discussion of the robbery and discussed the amount of money that Giles would probably have, and also as to whether or not he would be armed.

Hunter then loaned-his automobile to Phillips and Cochrane, and informed them that he would go with Giles to Hunter's home where Cochrane could rob Giles. Cochrane was selected for the job of robbing because he was unknown to Giles, both Phillips and Hunter being known to him.

Hunter also instructed Phillips and Cochrane to follow Hunter and Giles to the Hunter home. Shortly thereafter, Hunter, Giles, Harold McDaniels and Lorain Garvin left the Avalon Club in Gilesí car and went to the Hunter home, and went inside of Hunter's house.

Phillips and Cochrane followed Hunter and Giles to Hunterís home, and arrived about the same time Hunter and Giles and their companions were going into the Hunter home. Phillips and Cochrane circled the block in which the Hunter house was situated, and parked the car at the street intersection about 100 feet from the Hunter home.

Cochrane got out of the car, started to the Hunter home to rob Giles. About the time Cochrane arrived in front of Hunter's house, Giles and Mrs. Hunter came out of the house and got in Giles car and were preparing to drive way when Cochrane appeared and pointed a gun at Giles and told him to "Stick 'em up".

Giles gave Cochrane $2.45 and Cochrane demanded that Giles turn over a bill fold which Hunter and Phillips had told Cochrane Giles had in his hip pocket. Giles told Cochrane he could not get to the bill fold sitting in the car.

Cochrane ordered Giles to get out of the car and come around to the front of the car. Giles started to comply with the command and as he started to come around the side of the car, he evidently reached in his hip pocket, took out his bill fold, and threw it into or over the fence in the Hunter yard, and Cochrane fired a shot, struck Giles in the neck, killing him almost instantly. Cochrane then ran from the Giles car to the corner and got in the Hunter car with Phillips.

At that time Cochrane had two pistols, one in each hand, an told Phillips to drive away. Phillips drove rapidly away, and on the way to town, asked Cochrane what had happened, and Cochrane told him that he had had to shoot a man, but did not know whether he had hit him or not. Phillips brought Cochrane back to the Royal Apartments and left him there and went back up town.

Later in the night Phillips went back to the Royal Apartments and got from Cochrane the gun Cochrane had used in the killing. Phillips then hid the gun In a cabin in an auto camp near where Phillips lived. The gun was found a few days later. The gun used In the killing originally belonged to Phillips, but had been soaked to Hunter some time before the holdup and killing.

On the Sunday preceding the holdup and killing, hunter had returned the gun to Phillips and Phillips had given it to his step-brother, Constantino, who lived at the Royal Apartments, had Constantino had given it to Cochrane on the day or night of the holdup and killing.

The understanding between Hunter, Phillips, and Cochrane was that Cochrane was to get one-half of the money taken from Giles, and the other half was to be divided equally between Hunter and Phillips. Cochrane claimed that he gave Phillips $1 of the $2.45 taken from Giles, but Phillips denies this.

The three defendants were apprehended. Cochrane made a statement as to his participation in the affair. Phillips and Hunter denied having any connection with the affair until after Cochrane was arrested and they learned that he has told of the whole affair, at which time Hunter and Phillips then admitted their participation in the enterprise.

Cochrane was tried, convicted, and given the death penalty. Phillip's case was yet to follow. Before the date of the trial, Phil Phillips changed his plea to that of Guilty, and the County Attorney stated that if Phillips would testify truthfully at Hunterís trial as to the whole affair, the County Attorney would recommend life imprisonment for Phillips. Hunter was tried and Phillips testified for the state to the facts in the case, his testimony being about the same as contained in this statement.

*****

Defendant states that his name is Jerry Cochrane; that he is 26 years of age; that his alias is Chas. E. Stevens; that he was born in New York City, N. Y., 3-2-08; that his father is living in Phoenix, Arizona, P.O. Box 735; that his mother and one brother are living in Hollywood, California; that he has one sister living in Chicago, Ill.; that he is an American citizen; that he has been in Arizona and Maricopa County for three months; that he is a stenographer and last worked for the W. S. Marine Corp, fox five years and was discharged; that he has been convicted in El Centro, California, for Robbery in 1930; that he is not married.

Respectfully submitted this 19th day of March, 1935.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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