It took jurors only six minutes to sentence Antonio Cochran to life in prison for the murder of Zoe Hastings.
The punishment face began and ended on Monday after it took four days for a Dallas County jury to find Cochran guilty of murder — but not of capital murder. Along with life in prison, the 36-year-old also has to pay a $10,000 fine.
Zoe was trying to return a Redbox movie at a Walgreens on Oct. 11, 2015, when Cochran got into her car and kidnapped her. Her body was found the next day near a creek in White Rock Lake with her throat slit. An autopsy determined she has also been sexually assaulted.
Prosecutors said cellphone evidence, the murder weapon and DNA evidence found on Zoe’s body all pointed to Cochran.
Before jurors assessed Cochran’s punishment, Zoe’s father, James Hastings, took the witness stand and struck an emotional chord. He talked to jurors about his close-knit family and how losing Zoe has impacted all of their lives.
“It was terrible. So I’m glad to have it done with and I’m glad they understood just how painful it’s been for our family,” James said. “It will definitely help us to move forward. Not having this looming over us and knowing we’re gonna have to deal with it sometime in the future.”
The family says they are satisfied.
Cochran’s intellectual disability prevented him from facing the death penalty. He will be eligible for parole in 30 years.