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Kokomo man pleads guilty in 2018 crash that killed 10-year-old girl

Joshua Cochran pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident.

KOKOMO, Ind. — NOTE: The above video is from a report in 2018 on the deadly crash.

A Kokomo man pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a 2018 crash that fatally injured a 10-year-old girl who was walking near a roadway. 

Joshua Cochran pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Our news gathering partners at the Kokomo Tribune report Cochran pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, a Level 3 felony. 

If the plea is accepted by the judge, three other counts against Cochran will be dismissed. Those include: causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance in the blood, leaving the scene of an accident causing death, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

Police say Cochran was high on marijuana when his vehicle struck Renay Jenkins in August 2018 in Kokomo. She died from her injuries at an Indianapolis hospital. 

Credit: Jenkins family
Renay Jenkins

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."

He denied witness accounts that he kept going and fled the accident scene.

"I did stop right when it happened. I got out, said 'Ma'am, are you OK?' She was responding. She was, like, moving and breathing," he explained. "I said, 'Stay...OK, ma'am, stay right there.' Like I said, my house is like five houses down."

Cochran said he went home and told his brother what happened.

"Me and him get directly in his car and get back to where she was. And that's when the ambulances and they were putting her in the ambulance," he said.

Yet he didn't stay at the scene.

"I didn't think I had reason to stay," he said. "To be completely serious, I did not know I needed to stay," he answered.

If a Howard County judge accepts Cochran’s plea agreement at an Aug. 31 hearing, he could face three to 16 years in prison.

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