DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two years after Dallas teenager Zoe Hastings was abducted and murdered, a jury is getting the chance to hear what the prosecution has called “horrific” details about the case. The trial began Thursday morning in Dallas, as prosecutors aim to prove that DNA evidence links defendant Antonio Cochran to the crime.
Cochran has been charged with capital murder.
The prosecution is painting the picture of a teenager who loved God and her family. Hastings was on her way to church when she was taken. The 18-year-old girl was still so close to home that you could see her house from the crime scene, a Walgreens store where Hastings had stopped to return a Redbox movie.
Prosecutor Pat Kirlin told jurors that Cochran forced his way into the family’s minivan. The vehicle was located in a creekbed the next morning with the teenager’s body lying nearby in a pool of blood.
DNA evidence discovered on the murder weapon links Cochran to the crime, prosecutors stated. However, defense attorneys told the jury that Cochran was helping out a friend at the time of the murder.
Cochran, now 36 years old, had been acquitted of sexual assault charges in Texarkana just months before Hastings was found murdered.
The trial is expected to last for two or three days. Prosecutors are not asking for the death penalty, if Cochran is convicted.