Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge Suzanne H. Smith denied a motion to set bond for a Kingston man facing aggravated assault and first degree home invasion charges in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday morning.
Defendant Dustin Charles Cochran is also facing one felony count of terroristic threats and acts, one felony count of false imprisonment, one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor obstructing or hindering a person making an emergency phone call.
Attorney James Blalock alleged the defendant has an extremely rare medical condition known as ‘auto-brewery syndrome,’ which purportedly produces intoxication through endogenous fermentation.
“He went on a rampage in Kingston the other day,” Blalock said. “He was on pain medication and they tell me this morning he’s got something like ‘brewer’s disease,’ it makes him crave alcohol and his body turns stuff into alcohol.”
Cochran, 34, was arrested on Feb. 2.
Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Whitney Law said the defendant allegedly knocked on the victim’s door and asked to see a person who was not at the residence.
“At that point in time, the defendant pulled out his pistol and said ‘I will shoot you, [expletive], where is he?’” Law said. “She was actually able to run to the neighbor’s home, asking for help.”
According to Law, the defendant then got in a vehicle and pointed the gun at not only the neighbor, but her two grandchildren standing on the porch, as well, before leaving the property.
As for the defendant’s prior criminal history, Law said Cochran was previously convicted of driving under the influence.
“Based on the seriousness of these charges and based on the fact that this incident just occurred,” Law told the court, “we would ask that bond be denied in this case.”
Blalock said he’s known the defendant “for years,” describing his alleged actions as “totally uncharacteristic.”
“But when you get drugs and alcohol mixed up, you’re a totally different person,” Blalock told Judge Smith.
He said that a preliminary hearing has not yet been held for the defendant.
“After there’s been an opportunity for both sides to do further investigation [through] the preliminary hearing — this is the kind of case where you wouldn't need a crime lab or anything like that, for grand jury purposes — I would certainly reconsider a motion for bond,” Smith said. “If there’s not something that comes out of the preliminary hearing, or if it’s not presented to a grand jury in an appropriate amount of time.”