Denzel Pittman, 18, of Park Forest, just south of Chicago, has been held without bail and charged with the first degree murder of his girlfriend, her mother and her younger sister. Jade Hannah, 17, Pittman's girlfriend, her mother, Stacy Cochran-Hill, 43, and younger sister, Joi Cochran, 11, were found fatally stabbed on November 29th, 2010. Pittman was taken into custody that night after witnesses called the police and reported Pittman fleeing the scene.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the prosecutors went into detail regarding the nature of the alleged attacks during a bond hearing on Wednesday, December 1st. The prosecutors described an argument that turned violent, with a domestic altercation between Pittman and Hannah resulting in Pittman allegedly pulling a knife and stabbing Hannah 11 times outside of her apartment. When Hannah's mother, Cochran-Hill, came to the door of the apartment, Pittman allegedly stabbed her 15 times before moving into the apartment where he allegedly stabbed Hannah's younger sister 11 times. All victims were unresponsive by the time emergency personnel arrived at the scene.
In the face of criminal charges, particularly those related to criminal homicide or domestic violence, the most important thing a defendant can do is exercise his or her right to legal counsel. No matter the seriousness of charges, a defendant has the right to an attorney. Make sure you are not taken advantage of by overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement personnel.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Mitch Furman today. The firm represents clients throughout the Chicago area.