Regarding Sheriff James Cochran of Trinity County, California who was killed while in the performance of his duties on March 17,1868.
The Trinity Journal for Saturday, March 21,1868, reported the following about the murder of Sheriff Cochran.
“James Cochran. Sheriff of Trinity County. Killed at Red Bluff March 17,1868, by an insane man whom he was conveying to Stockton.Native of Ballindrait, parish of Lifford, County Donegal, Ireland; aged about 33 years 3 months; leaves a widow and three children.” A son, James Joseph Cochran, was born Sept.30, 1868, after the death of the father.
On Tuesday, March 17,1868, Sheriff James Cochran of Trinity County was in Red Bluff, Tehama County, with James McDermitt awaiting a vessel to make the voyage to Stockton. McDermitt had been ajudged insane by the District Court and Stockton was where the State Insane Asylum was located. While awaiting the arrival of the ship, Sheriff Cochran deemed McDermitt to be reasonable enough to have the run of the town. McDermitt was well behaved until he contacted the Sheriff who was visiting with friends in a saloon about the need to go home to his wife and children. McDermitt became quite insistent and Sheriff Cochran attempted to reason with, and calm-down McDermitt. McDermitt defied the Sheriff to stop him, a scuffle broke out, McDermitt displayed a large Bowie knife and continued to grapple with the Sheriff . Others came to the Sheriff’s aid but backed away when confronted with the knife. McDermitt fled into the street with the Sheriff in pursuit. The Sheriff fell mortally wounded and died within a half-hour of a stab wound to his heart.