Eric Faulk

Eric Faulk

A Conway man charged with killing a retired Conway police officer in March was denied bond Thursday morning and will be evaluated instead.

But Morgan Martin, the attorney representing 22-year-old Eric Faulk, said there are some questions about the strength of the State’s case.

Faulk is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in connection with the death of 65-year-old James Odell Cochran, who retired from the Conway Police Department with 38 years of service, on March 5. 

Martin told Circuit Judge Steven H. John that Faulk does not have a history of violent crime. He said Faulk could live with his mother, a Walmart employee, if he was released. He also said that Faulk had worked previously at fast food restaurants including Bojangles’ and Chick-fil-A.

But John said he didn’t think setting a bond for Faulk was proper, particularly due to Faulk’s lengthy run from the law and his concerns about his mental health. John said he was particularly concerned that Faulk evaded arrest for 27 days and it eventually took help from the U.S. Marshals Service to capture him.

He also said he feared that Faulk was a danger to the community and a flight risk, based on his prior actions.

Chief Deputy Solicitor Scott Hixson said Faulk is Cochran's stepson.

Hixson read a letter to the judge written by Cochran’s daughter asking that Faulk not be released due to the nature of the crime. She also wrote that the family thinks he is a flight risk and a danger to their family. She wrote that if he doesn’t get his way, he becomes hostile and threatening. They also wanted a mental evaluation.

Faulk wasn’t in the courtroom at the Horry County Government and Justice Center, but he appeared before John from J. Reuben Long Detention Center through a video conference call. His only interaction with the bond hearing was to tell John that he understood what was happening and that he could speak with his attorney on a telephone if he felt the need.

Martin agreed that there have been concerns about Faulk’s mental health, but he didn’t agree that he might try to flee, adding that he doesn’t have the means to flee.

Outside of this incident, he said there’s nothing else violent in Faulk’s past. His record includes petit larceny and stolen goods.

Hixson said there was a disagreement before the killing occurred.

He said Cochran was found with gunshot wounds in a shed behind his home on Long Branch Road near Conway. Faulk had been known to stay in the shed previously.

Before the shooting, Faulk had been there, and he left the scene in Cochran’s truck with some of his belongings.

A “tipster” assisted authorities, who found Faulk in an abandoned trailer, Hixson said.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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