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Woman lied about shooting, police say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston woman accidentally shot herself in the finger, then lied to police and others about the incident because she was worried about her three small children, Charleston police said in a news conference Monday.

Police arrested the woman's boyfriend, whom they initially thought shot her, then charged him with several unrelated offenses, said Steve Cooper, chief of detectives.

Requioa R. Cochran, 24, walked into CAMC Women and Children's Hospital at about 11:40 Monday morning, saying she'd been shot in an attempted robbery at the Transit Mall, police said.

But after questioning by police, several different stories emerged.

"The lady wasn't really forthright," said Lt. C.E. Sisson.

Following initial interviews, police believed Cochran's boyfriend, Kerry L. Jemison, 22, shot her at the apartment they shared on McCormick Street, in some sort of domestic dispute.

Based on that information, police went to her apartment, where they got a description of Jemison and learned he might have headed toward the Transit Mall.

They arrested Jemison at the Transit Mall at 12:40 p.m., Sisson said, and found a handgun and some marijuana in his backpack. At that point police planned to charge Jemison with malicious wounding and possession with intent to deliver. But they later dropped plans for the malicious wounding charge.

"He is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and felony possession," Cooper said at an afternoon news conference. Jemison was wanted on a previous warrant for failure to pay child support.

Eventually, Cochran told police she shot herself, Cooper said. "It's a small, Derringer-type weapon. No trigger guard."

Both Cochran and Jemison told police the same thing, that they made up a story about an attempted robbery because they were worried about the children, Cooper said. In addition to her three kids, Cochran is pregnant, he said.

"They panicked over the fact this happened in the house. 'If they find out I messed up my finger, [Child Protective Services] might find out.'

"It does appear it was self-inflicted, but we're still investigating," he said.

"Her condition is fine. She had to have some repair done to her finger."

Police were immediately suspicious of Cochran's original story about an attempted robbery, Sisson said, which was reported to the Metro 911 center and spread by news media.

If she'd been shot at the Transit Mall, there'd have been dozens of witnesses and 911 calls, Sisson said. Also, Cochran would have been more likely to walk to Saint Francis Hospital, only a block away, he said.

Reach Jim Balow at balow@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.


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