A man accused of 23 criminal charges in New Mexico for his role in a Lake Ozark abduction that ended with a police chase and gunshots will stand trial at a later date.


A man accused of 23 criminal charges in New Mexico for his role in a Lake Ozark abduction that ended with a police chase and gunshots will stand trial at a later date.

While the date has not been set, the court has found Mark Cochran, 41, was found competent to stand trial on all charges in the case of the kidnapping of 5-year-old Devon Denman in early July 2010.

Cochran is accused of joining girlfriend Elizabeth Denman in taking Devon from his father’s home in Lake Ozark. The couple then fled the area and drove west.

Denman and Cochran, traveling in a stolen vehicle, allegedly fired gunshots at New Mexico State Police as they barreled down Interstate 40 toward Arizona when an officer attempted to stop the stolen car. After police used spikes to deflate the vehicle’s tires, Cochran and Denman left the boy in the backseat of the car and fled on foot into the high desert. They were arrested more than a day later in Arizona.

On February 14, defense attorney Theresa Gomez entered a motion to have an expert check Cochran’s competency to stand trial. He was originally scheduled to go to trial on March 8.

“His attorney had raised competency as an issue,” New Mexico 11th District Attorney James Bierly said. “The expert’s opinion is that (Cochran) is competent to stand trial.”

The case returns to the trial docket, and Cochran’s next court appearance will be scheduled for a later date. Charges against him include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, conspiracy to commit a crime, abandonment of a child, kidnapping, shooting from a vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.

On March 28, Elizabeth Denman pled guilty to attempted murder and to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon upon a police officer. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attempted murder charge and 18 months for the other felony plea. She will only serve 365 days in prison because Judge Grant Foutz ordered that the remaining 10 and 1/2 years be suspended. Gallup District Court records show Denman will also be credited for serving 251 days in jail from the time between her arrest and change of plea.

Foutz is also the judge in Cochran’s case.

Devon Denman has since reunited with his father. The father and son live in the Lake Ozark area.

Contact Lake Sun reporter Rance Burger at rance.burger@lakesunonline.com.