PIEDMONT, Okla. – A judge has denied bond for a man charged in the deaths of two teenagers just before Christmas.
Luke Ross, 19, and Sean Tucker, 19, were both home from college for the Christmas break when they decided to visit a friend in Piedmont.
Police say the teens were at a stop sign at N.W. 150th St. and Mustang Rd. when a speeding driver slammed into the back of their car.
“It was like an explosion. We thought it might’ve been a transformer,” said Lisa Yokley, who lives nearby and heard the crash. “We saw a big, like on our window in the front right there, it was a ball of fire.”
Investigators say the driver was likely going about 100 miles per hour when he hit the teens. Immediately, their car went up in flames.
“It was a very violent collision. Again, very high-speed collision that led to both vehicles bursting into flames,” said MSgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The driver of the car, 48-year-old David Christopher Cochlin, was also rushed to the hospital, but survived his injuries.
Investigators said not only was Cochlin speeding but his blood alcohol content was two and half times the legal limit.
Last month, Cochlin was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder, and the court ordered that he be held without bond.
According to online court records, the judge noted that Cochlin had been previously arrested for driving under the influence and that an empty vodka bottle was found in one of his vehicles shortly before his arrest.
As a result, the judge said that “no conditions of bond exist that would assure the safety of the community.” However, his attorney was seeking to have that order overturned.
Cochlin’s attorney, Scott Adams, says that Cochlin has never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, and the details about his previous DUI arrests are unknown. In the court documents, Adams says that other defendants with similar circumstances have been granted bail.
“The Court incorrectly found that no condition of release would assure the safety of the community or any person. Persons are regularly admitted to bail who have killed people while driving drunk after multiple DUIs. They attend AA or are confined to their home or are outfitted with a device to alert when alcohol is being consumed. There is no reason to assume that Petitioner is incapable of not committing another offense,” Adams wrote in the document.
On Wednesday, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied his request to have the original order overturned. Instead, Cochlin will be forced to stay in jail without bail.