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Wife of Indiana judge charged with sending him threats

May 13, 2015

The wife of an Indiana Court of Appeals judge is accused of sending her husband threatening messages in a scheme to make it appear that their son-in-law was terrorizing the family.

Beverly "Star" Cochran, 53, was charged Monday with Level 6 felony obstruction of justice and Class A misdemeanor false reporting, the (Bloomington) Herald Times reported. Cochran believes her daughter's husband is to blame for her heroin use, and Cochran was acting in retribution in an effort to convince her daughter to leave him, according to investigators.

Cochran told police that she was worried her husband, Judge Edward "Ted" Najam, might try to harm the man, and she also hoped her son-in-law would be arrested for harassment, investigators said.

Najam denied having any knowledge that his wife was behind the threats, the affidavit said. But he did admit to police that he had talked to Cochran about protecting his family "by any means necessary," but said he only would've taken action in self-defense or to defend his wife and adoptive daughter.

Cochran admitted to purchasing a disposable cellphone and sending threatening messages to her husband, knowing he would think they were from their son-in-law, the document said. She also is accused of carving "die judge" in the door of their Spicewood home.

Because it appears Cochran doesn't pose a danger to the public, she will be summoned to court for an initial hearing instead of being arrested, Bob Miller announced on behalf of the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office.

It wasn't immediately known if Cochran has an attorney. An initial hearing has been scheduled for June 16.

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