Former Georgia Chief Magistrate Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault, Witness Tampering, and Conspiring To Plant Drug On Woman

bryant_cochranFormer Murray County Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant L. Cochran has been found convicted by a federal jury in a bizarre case where he engineered the false arrest of a woman who alleged that she had been sexually propositioned by Cochran. He was also convicted of tampering with a witness and for sexually assaulting a county employee. The conspiracy detailed in the indictment is a rather twisted tale of a sex-crazed judge, meth-using mother of four, treacherous friends, and corrupt cops. Hint: it turns out that like Agatha Christie, virtually all of them are guilty of something.

Ex-Chief Magistrate Bryant Cochran_Angela GarmleyCochran was the chief magistrate from January 1, 2004 to August 15, 2012. During that time, he allegedly sexually assaulted a Murray County employee and unlawfully searched the personal cellular telephone of another Murray County employee. Then on April 9, 2012, he met Angela Garmley who had come to obtain a warrant after a physical assault by a couple at a trailer park. The mother of four was married to an acquaintance of Cochran, Joe Garmley, who the judge had known him for about 18 years. She was in the process of a divorce. When she went into the courthouse, she said that Cochran asked that only she come back to his office despite the fact that she was there with her oldest daughter and sister. She said that he asked her about her divorce and whether she “cheated.” She said that he added “I heard Joe had a pretty wife, but d—, you’re fine.” He then asked for her phone and she said he took time to go through it. She also said that Cochran told her that his wife “was not taking care of his needs at home and he needed a mistress.” He is then quoted as saying that if she came to court in a dress and no panties “I would be happy with (the hearing) Friday.” She said that she agreed because “I wanted justice.”

She also admitted to texting and calling him and that she agreed to send him a revealing picture because Cochran “wanted to see what he would be getting.”

She stated that she became angry when Cochran told her husband that it was she who propositioned him.

The woman was an easy target for planting drugs. She admitted to being a meth user and to buying material to make meth. Indeed, the couple that attacked her in the trailer park were, according to her, involved in the drug trade. On the day of the planting, however, she became suspicious when Clifford “CJ” Joyce (someone with whom she had smoked pot) seemed very nervous and climbed out a back window at her house. She and a friend searched the house to see if he planted drugs but never checked her car. The drugs were planted under the car.

In 2012, she was smoking meth with friends at a house. Her daughter and her friend were also there. A friend, Randy “Bubba” Crook, allegedly asked her to go buy $80 worth of meth from “Yank.” Because she had injured her foot by stepping on a nail, Gormley asked Jason Southern, who was at the party, to drive her home. The vehicle was stopped near her house after an officer said that he saw the bright lights on and turned around to check it.

Notably, the frame did not immediately work. The officer at the scene, Murray County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joshua Greeson (who was later convicted of witness tampering) did not find any drugs. Then former Murray County Capt. Michael Henderson (who is Cochran’s cousin and who was also later convicted of witness tampering) had an approximately two minute telephone conversation with Cochran. Following that call, Henderson told an officer to look for a magnetic box under the left, rear of her car. Upon receiving that information, Greeson found the metal box magnetically attached to the car in that precise location. Inside the box, Greeson recovered five small packets containing methamphetamine. Garmley immediately said that it was a setup.

Things then began to fall apart. Under pressure from a state Judicial Qualifications Commission investigation, Cochran resigned a day after the arrest and a week later Joyce admitted to law enforcement officers that he planted drugs. Then Cochran allegedly tried to persuade a witness to provide false information to law enforcement officers.

The jury took about a day to deliberate. Cochran now faces significant jail time and on top of that, Garmley suing him.

Here is the indictment: Cochran indictment

34 thoughts on “Former Georgia Chief Magistrate Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault, Witness Tampering, and Conspiring To Plant Drug On Woman”

  1. randyjet:

    “Typical redneck, KKK state and no surprise. The nice thing of the resurgence of the GOP in the South is that all the crooked politicians moved there and left the Democratic Party.”

    Oh, really? So this is a political problem solely at the feet of the GOP?

    How interesting. I live in Liberal stronghold CA, where:

    1. Democratic State Sentator Lelan Yee, who publicly fought against the second amendment, was convicted of gun trafficking.
    2. Democratic Mayor Bob Filner resigned under sexual abuse allegations so severe they coined the term, “Filner Headlock”
    3. Democratic State Senator Ron Calderon was recently indicted for taking bribes for pushing legislation that would benefit his cronies
    4. Democratic Senator Rob Wright was just recently convicted for perjury and voter fraud.

    I could go on, but I’m running out of time. I live in a rural area, where most families own firearms. I see people out on the trail riding with guns or knives strapped to their legs. And yet, we don’t have shootouts at the OK corral every day like Chicago. Do you think that “rednecks” like farmers and ranchers aren’t as good as bankers, lawyers, or stock brokers? Do you think they must be guilty of something because they live in a rural area? What a foolish prejudice. I have a small flock of organic hens in my backyard. Does that make me more prone to crime or racism?

    I’ve got news for you. This guy isn’t guilty of sexual assault BECAUSE he lived in the South, and the Democratic, and all political parties, have plenty of liars, cheats, and criminals. Do you even know what political party Cochran belongs to? Because I don’t. Do you assume he’s not a Democrat?

  2. I did some research and spoke w/ Lori Harrison of the Chatsworth Times, the local reporter who is covering this story. She told me that Magistrates in Murray County are not appointed, but elected. But, like most judicial elections, it is a nonpartisan election. Ms. Harrison told me the county is fairly balanced Dem/Rep wise. So, this guy is a nonpartisan dirtball, not a GOPer as our local gunslinger here was quick to assert. He loves to shoot from the hip, rarely hitting his target.

  3. Judges are nonpartisan positions in Georgia. That’s why there’s no party affiliation in any of the stories.

    Murray tends to go Republican in state and national elections, but it still still largely Democratic at the local level. But the long-time Democratic sheriff was defeated by a Republican not too long after all this happened. Not sure how much, if at all, the involvement of one of his deputies and lieutenants in all of this played a part in his defeat.

  4. @BarkinDog
    “He belongs to the PorkEm If Ya Gottem Party. And his party ain’t over. Cause he is going to jail and that ain’t Yale. He will get a rear ender and he ain’t even queer.”

    Lmao! hahahahahaha

  5. It is an especially painful betrayal when a trusted figure betrays the public’s trust – doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, or cops. I don’t include politician because “trustworthy politician” seems an oxymoron.

    Thank goodness the justice system worked and he was convicted.

    It is also grievous that a mother of four is a meth addict. I hope, for the sake of her kids, she gets help and sobriety.

  6. PaulS, GREAT observation. When it’s a bad politician, ‘R’ is prominently displayed in all venues of the MSM. If it’s a Dem, the party affiliation is usually not given.

  7. Democrat/Republican; does it really matter? The Grubers of the world rely on party affiliation to cast their ballot; the rest of us look to the character of the person.

  8. He belongs to the PorkEm If Ya Gottem Party. And his party ain’t over. Cause he is going to jail and that ain’t Yale. He will get a rear ender and he ain’t even queer.

  9. “I heard Joe had a pretty wife, but d—, you’re fine.”

    Slim pickins in Murray County, Georgia; she’s more pit than peach.

    With that old sweet long sentence, Georgia’ll stay on his mind.

  10. Randyjet ~ Cochran was the chief magistrate from January 1, 2004 to August 15, 2012, not after the election reckoning the American people gave democrats on November 4, 2014. lol

    1. msjtexas, Since you provided NO proof or cite that he is or was a Democrat, then my assumption of his being GOP is more than likely correct. LOL! Thanks for confirming my assumption is a negative way.

  11. @doglover
    “Tall, handsome, sparkley-eyed, smiling, highly masculine men are given deference, preference, trust – all undeserved, similar to the rejection that many others get as a result of their appearance. I know I have benefitted from my physical appearance, undeservingly.”

    Lol doglover, Load up your picture and let us decide. 😀 Maybe this judges wife sees through the all of the sparkly and cut him off. So he decides to go after a drug using somewhat pretty female because she has a record and knew if she made claims against him, no one would believe her because she has a record. He is a calculating piece of dung, who would probably be a rapist if he were not a judge.

    I knew a police chief whom was just like this, using his office to seduce young females for sex. He was caught because he was picking up troubled female youths at a high school to bring them to his office and then would get them to do sexual acts for him. My sister was a cop when he was chief and told me all about it. I think this stuff is more common than not.

  12. I agree with Randyjet. But I also observe that the guy looks like a total jerk. And I did not add “off”. Everything in moderation.

    1. I did not find any mention of the crooks party affiliation, Dem or GOP. Since I live in the most Republican part of Texas, and I know the system here, I figured it is a pretty safe assumption the crook Is GOP since all of our official crooks are that. If one wishes to advance in politics here and in GA, one goes with the party in power. Which translates to the GOP and who got all of the crooks out of the Democratic party. That does not mean Dems are pure, but have a whole lot LESS than the GOP.

      1. randyjet – he has to be Democratic. There is no mention of his party in any newspaper reporting him. If he was a Republican, it would be in the first para.

  13. Concerning the maligning of Repos per one of the posters above…when have facts gotten in the way of him maligning people in the past? This is typical of so many posters that when one person makes a comment about how corrupt a person/party/county/etc. is they immediately jump on you for the errors and criminal activity of someone else. As if you supported the someone else or had many any opinion about past activities. Sad.

  14. @randyjet ~ Former Murray County Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant L. Cochran is a democrat. lmao!

  15. Tall, handsome, sparkley-eyed, smiling, highly masculine men are given deference, preference, trust – all undeserved, similar to the rejection that many others get as a result of their appearance. I know I have benefitted from my physical appearance, undeservingly.

  16. This makes my point, that same things go on in Chilton County Alabama just like That county in Georgia. What is really crazy is the fact they seem to be able to stay in office UNOPPOSED in the elections. Are the people in those counties so use to what goes on they turn their head to it.
    One stated, that it was none of her business what he does, he is a good man.
    A interdicting statement, if he was a good man then he would not be so crooked as to make his own laws as he sees.
    The letter of the law and the correct procedures to enforce those written laws is the office of the judicial not to make his own laws and use the “Good old boy” routine on his friends and family and harsh treatment to those not in his circles.
    Then of course there are the untrained in his ranks where they do not know the law and state things like “That only happens on TV.”
    It is easier these days just to look up the law and rely on the untrained in their family employment.

  17. Typical redneck, KKK state and no surprise. The nice thing of the resurgence of the GOP in the South is that all the crooked politicians moved there and left the Democratic Party. As a Democrat, I am quite happy about that, and when we start winning again, we sure do not want these folks back

    1. randyjet – no where does it say what political party he belongs to or who appointed him. It is oddly deficient in that area.

  18. In Agatha Christie there are a lot of red herrings but only one guilty party. This judge is clearly a piece of work. Surprised the jury took so long.

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