New court records: Woman planned to rob, but not kill, her ex-boyfriend with new gangster boyfriend

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 23:43:28-04

NORFOLK,  Va. – New details are coming to light about a man remembered for his big smile and energetic, upbeat personality.

Patrick Cochrane was shot to death on March 1 near the intersection of East Little Creek Road and Orchid Avenue in the City of Norfolk.

The 25-year-old was shot in the shoulder and later died at the hospital.

Court records indicate his ex-girlfriend, Becca Banta, was arrested along with Jeremy Harris. They were both accused of being involved in the shooting. In April, U.S. Marshals asked for the public’s help to track down Thomas Nesmith.

Authorities described Nesmith as a known gang member and soon tracked him down.

All three are being held in the Norfolk Jail without bond.

New court records state a witness allegedly told police that he observed several males arguing with the victim, who was sitting in a car. The records say the males and one female were crowded around a black Dodge vehicle and the victim’s car.

Records say during the altercation, a young white female was also involved in the argument. She appeared to be held back by one of the males on the scene.

A second witness apparently told authorities he spoke to Nesmith, who claimed they were planning to rob Cochrane.

Nesmith allegedly said he was dating Banta.

The records say the second witness said money was the motive of the crime and that she allegedly texted with the victim before the shooting.

Court documents say Harris also told detectives while being interviewed that he also planned to rob the victim but not shoot him and claimed to have not pulled the trigger.

After Cochrane’s death, dozens gathered in front of his Suffolk home for a candlelight vigil in his honor, saying prayers and walking around the block in his honor.

"He was a good boy. (He had) so much love in him," said Denise Farnum Cochrane, Patrick's aunt, who says she lived with the family while he grew up.

Farnum Cochrane said Patrick's father passed away exactly four months prior to his son.

"I feel numb, empty after losing my brother and now, his son," she said. "He didn't deserve that."

Along with family, many of Cochrane's friends also came out to honor him, many of whom he knew since his time at Lakeland High School.

Cochrane's girlfriend Emily Gudinas said he had a love for fixing cars.

"He fixed my car. He made my check engine light go off," she said. "He showed me love that no one has ever shown me before. He took care of me. He always made people laugh."

Gudinas said the week of his death had been difficult.

"Part of me is missing," she said.

Cochrane's mother never spoke with News 3 on camera, but she said she wants justice for her son.

Nesmith, Banta and Harris are expected back in court on July 16.


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