BUCKHANNON - The Buckhannon man who led officers from all Upshur County law enforcement agencies on a vehicular chase through town in October is now facing two additional charges - this time stemming from alleged criminal activity in Randolph County.
Jonathan Cochran, 19, was arraigned Tuesday in Upshur County Magistrate Court on one felony count of forgery and one felony count of uttering for allegedly forging his brother's signature on a check and then passing it at Wamsley's Service Center on Harrison Avenue in Elkins.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman with the Randolph County Magistrate Clerk's office said Upshur County authorities arrested Jonathan Cochran Tuesday on other charges and, after noticing that there were outstanding Randolph County warrants for him, arraigned him on the forgery and uttering charges.
Those make the fourth and fifth charges Jonathan Cochran - who eluded authorities following an Oct. 14 vehicular chase in Buckhannon - is facing.
He was also arraigned Tuesday in Upshur County Magistrate Court on one felony count of daytime burglary for his alleged in involvement in a burglary that took place Oct. 29 in the Vegan area of the county; one misdemeanor count of fleeing in a vehicle; and one misdemeanor count of fleeing no vehicle.
According to the complaint involving the forgery and uttering charges, which was filed in the Randolph County Magistrate Clerk's office, officers with the Elkins detachment of the West Virginia State Police received a walk-in forgery and uttering complaint from Jonathan Cochran's brother, William Cochran, at about 4 p.m.
William Cochran told police he had received a letter from Randolph County Magistrate Court officials referencing a worthless check. However, William Cochran said that when he appeared in court on the charge, "he realized he hadn't wrote (sic) or passed the check in question due to the signature and the birth date written on the check," which was incorrect, the complaint states. William Cochran said he "immediately" noticed that the birth date listed on the check was the birth date of his younger brother, Jonathan Cochran, according to the report, which was filed by Trooper 1st Class D.R. Wolford.
He also pointed out that the phone number listed on the First Community Bank check - which was written to Wamsley's Service Center for $32 - was his parents' telephone number.
When William Cochran confronted his brother about the check, Jonathan Cochran allegedly admitted to writing and passing it, the complaint states. The complaint also notes that police confirmed the date of birth with the Division of Motor Vehicles and found that it matched Jonathan Cochran's date of birth.
The allegedly fraudulent check ordeal isn't the first time William Cochran and Jonathan Cochran have been in legal trouble together. On Oct. 14, William Cochran was the passenger in a green Jeep being driven by Jonathan Cochran that led officers with the Buckhannon Police Department, Upshur County Sheriff's Office and Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police on a vehicular chase through the north section of
Both Jonathan Cochran and William Cochran allegedly attempted to run away when the vehicle eventually stopped, but William Cochran was apprehended by an officer with the Buckhannon Police Department and charged with one misdemeanor count of fleeing no vehicle; he is currently free on bond.
Jonathan Cochran, who managed to escape from police then, is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $100,000 bond; bail was set at $25,000 for the forgery and uttering charges and at $75,000 for the burglary and fleeing charges.
The penalty for a conviction of forgery or uttering is imprisonment in a state penitentiary for one to 10 years, or, in the discretion of the court, confinement in a regional jail for up to a year and a fine of up to $500.