KOKOMO, Ind. — A Kokomo man who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a crash that killed a 10-year-old girl in 2018 was sentenced to nine years in prison, but will not serve time in jail.
(NOTE: The video in the player above is from a June 2021 story.)
Police said Joshua Cochran was high on marijuana when his vehicle struck and killed Renay Jenkins on East Alto Road in Kokomo on Aug. 9, 2018. Police found him a short time later at his residence and reported his vehicle was heavily damaged.
Jenkins was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, where she later passed away from her injuries.
According to our partners at the Kokomo Tribune, despite the nine-year prison sentence imposed on Cochran, sentencing guidelines will have him split his sentence near evenly between a work release program and in-home detention.
Cochran pleaded guilty in June to one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident. Three other charges in the investigation - causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance in the blood and leaving the scene of an accident causing death, both Level 5 felonies, as well as a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana - were dismissed prior to the sentencing, the Tribune reported.
In an interview with 13News in 2018, Cochran insisted he couldn't avoid hitting Jenkins and denied leaving the scene.
"All of sudden, she goes this way, out of nowhere, just real quick. Just sporadic," Cochran said, using his hands to demonstrate. "She walked across the street, going - boom! - into the left side of my car, just rolls off it."
(NOTE: The video below is from an August 2018 story.)
He said he got out to check on Jenkins, who he said was responding. He said he went home and told his brother what had happened, then returned to the crash scene as medics were placing Jenkins into an ambulance, but did not stay at the scene.
"I didn't think I had reason to stay," he told 13News. "To be completely serious, I did not know I needed to stay."