DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Testimony continued Friday in the Antonio Cochran trial. He is the man accused of abducting and murdering Dallas teenager Zoe Hastings two years ago. The trial started Thursday morning. Prosecutors on Friday called forensic expert witnesses to the stand.
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.
Authorities located the Hastings family minivan in a creekbed the next morning. The teenager’s body was found nearby.
Cochran was charged with capital murder. Prosecutors are trying to link him to the slaying using physical evidence, which the defense has argued is lacking. A pair of scientists were called to the witness stand on Friday morning, along with an employee from Redbox.
The first forensic science professional was an expert in hair analysis, the man who examined the hair found at the crime scene. Defense attorneys asked why only five hairs were selected to send for DNA testing, to which the expert admitted that it is not an exact science.
The DNA expert who tested those hairs explained that some of them matched Hastings, while others did not. Cochran’s DNA profile was one of dozens of possible contributors to one hair. Cochran, now 36 years old, had been acquitted of sexual assault charges in Texarkana just months before Hastings was found dead.
If he is convicted, Cochran faces up to life in prison without parole.