Billings, Montana: On Monday, December 12, 32-year-old Nina Mel Cochran was ordered held on a $1 million bond for the murder of 64-year-old Douglas Merrill Nielsen.
KPAX explained the high bond amount as the result of both a prosecutor and defense attorney citing Cochran's "significant mental health issues." The prosecutor additionally noted that Cochran had a previous felony drug conviction and a history of drug use.
On December 1, Cochran was located on Interstate 90 by a Montana Highway Patrol trooper. He attempted to stop her for reckless driving. Ultimately, she had to be brought to a stop by the use of tire spikes.
The vehicle Cochran was found driving was a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer that actually belonged to Douglas. Court records seen by KTVQ indicate that attempts made to contact Douglas at that time were unsuccessful.
Cochran was arrested at that time on charges including felony criminal endangerment.
A member of the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation went to Douglas' residence in Billings to attempt to make contact. While there, the home was found secured and no one answered the door. A neighbor spoke with the agent saying that he would usually see Douglas every day and hadn't seen him for several days.
It wasn't until December 6 that Cochran was interviewed at the Park County Detention Center. She reportedly waived her rights and agreed to speak with the officer.
During that interview, Cochran told the officer that Douglas was "in his house dead." After her initial statement, the officer left the room and returned with a detective from the Park County Sheriff's Office.
Speaking with both officers, Cochran claimed that she had killed him as a part of a satanic "initiation that the detective would not understand." Cochran is said to have gone on to say that "she had been born to become Lucifer and rule over the earth."
According to court documents, Cochran told them that she had left Douglas' house in his SUV following the ritual in order to do "some driving."
Later that same day officers located Douglas' body in the living room of his home "in an advanced state of decomposition." It appeared as though he had been stabbed in the chest and back and also suffered head trauma.
Her next court date is not known at this time.