Conway man pleads guilty to killing stepdad, a former Conway police officer

Eric Faulk
Eric Faulk(Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office)
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 4:05 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2022 at 4:14 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - A Conway man has pleaded guilty to the murder of his stepdad, a retired police officer in March 2020.

The Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson announced Wednesday, Eric Kwajae-Mikhail Faulk, 24, pleaded to voluntary manslaughter for the 2020 fatal shooting of his stepdad, James Odell Cochran, and has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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Faulk will serve 20 years in prison for the crime and must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence since it is classified as both “violent” and “most serious” under South Carolina law.

He will not be allowed parole or an early release.

In March 2020, Faulk’s mother called 911 and stated she believed her son had done something to his stepfather. Upo arrival police discovered Cochran’s body in the shed behind the home. Faulk had fled the home in Cochran’s vehicle.

According to the solicitor’s office, forensic evidence, witness statements, and incriminating comments made by Faulk allowed police to secure a warrant for Faulk’s arrest. In the weeks that followed, Cochran’s truck and Faulk were found in different locations by U.S. Marshals.

Cochran served with Conway Police Department for 38 years.

Assistant Solicitor Christopher Helms said Cochran’s death was not related to his service to the community but was a domestic incident.

“The most tragic part about this case was that Mr. Cochran served the community in a dangerous capacity for almost 40 years and simultaneously raised the defendant like his own son,” said Helms. “There does not appear to be any rational explanation for what the defendant did here.”

The solicitor’s office said neighbors and witnesses interviewed told authorities Faulk could be seen walking the street while talking to himself and sometimes carrying a weapon in the days leading up to the murder. Despite these statements, a court-ordered evaluation found him competent to stand trial.