Former Murray County Magistrate Bryant Cochran Indicted

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Former Murray County Magistrate Bryant Cochran, who had been investigated on allegations of having evidence planted on a woman who allegedly spurned his advances, has been indicted.

The six-count indictment from the Northern District of Georgia says he conspired to have a citizen falsely arrested, and also says he was involved in the distribution of meth. 

Attorney McCracken Poston, who represented Murray County citizens Angela Garmley, Joe Garmley and Jason Southern after their highly-publicized "wrongful arrests" on Aug. 15, 2012, and who with Chattanooga attorney Stuart James now represents the three along with three former employees of the Murray County Magistrate Court in civil lawsuits, on Wednesday released the following statement reacting to the federal charges. 

"On behalf of the three citizens who were wrongfully arrested on that August 2012 evening, and on behalf of the three ladies who as employees suffered under the realm of Bryant Cochran's abuses on a daily basis, we want to thank the United States Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for finally bringing these charges, a first step toward justice."

Mr. James said, “As far as the civil claims are concerned this opens new doors for our clients, who are the victims in this claim. Once Cochran is arraigned we will vigorously move forward on our civil claims to protect our client’s rights and interests.”

"For almost two years Mr. Poston and others have alleged wrongdoing by Cochran while in office, ranging from requesting sexual favors from Ms. Garmley while she was a litigant in his chambers; to orchestrating the planting of methamphetamine on Ms. Garmley's car and having her pulled over and arrested for the drugs - all after she went public and to the Judicial Qualifying Commission regarding Cochran's sexual advances and requests.  The three former employees of the Magistrate court have cooperated with federal authorities and have given details of a most unusual workplace headed by Cochran, a sexually-charged  and perverse hostile workplace environment  endured  by the women.

"Former Murray County Deputy Sheriff Josh Greeson and Captain Michael Henderson have pled guilty and are serving time for their roles in the conspiracy to set up and arrest Ms. Garmley. Clifford Joyce, a former tenant of Cochran, has pled guilty to planting the drugs on Ms. Garmley's car, saying he did i t for his landlord. The drug and charges against Ms. Garmley and Mr. Southern were dropped, as well as obstruction charges against Mr. Garmley, as the conspiracy unraveled and was revealed.

Attorney Poston said, "Now that the government has finally made federal criminal charges against the former judge, we look forward to watching Mr. Cochran avail himself of each and every constitutional right and privilege that he wanted to deny my clients."

Click here to read the indictment.


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALLARD, ANTHONY MONTREL     2401 S CHAMBERLAIN AVE.#2 CHATTANOOGA, 37404     27     Chattanooga          VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DOMESTIC ASSAULT) BEAN, BO     HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA,     42    ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns Senior-Night Soccer Victory

Honoring the team’s nine seniors was a focus of Tuesday night’s girls’ soccer match at Notre Dame, but it wasn’t the top priority for the Lady Irish. They knew that a win over visiting Signal Mountain would secure a first-place finish in District 7-AA, and their mission was to earn it. Notre Dame did just that, making Emma Higgins’ early goal stand for a ... (click for more)

Baylor and GPS Battle to 0-0 Tie

The Few. The Proud. The Baylor Girls Soccer Team. Playing with only one sub, an all-state basketball player turned goalkeeper and a disciplined defense, the Baylor girls soccer team battled host GPS to a scoreless tie Tuesday in a TSSAA D-II East/Middle Region match. GPS was the heavy favorite coming into the match with eight wins (now 8-1-2, 3-0-1), while Baylor (now ... (click for more)