Man pleads guilty in brutal death of former Topeka educator
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man accused of killing a former Topeka school principal has pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors say 24-year-old Calvin Phillips Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping for in May 2016 death of Curt Cochran. The pleas came as attorneys began picking jurors to hear Phillips’ trial.
As part of the plea deal, Phillips will be required to testify against a co-defendant, Michael Hall, who is charged with murder.
Co-workers discovered Cochran’s body in a Topeka warehouse. Investigators say he was tied to a chair and his head was wrapped in plastic. He was beaten and his throat was cut.
Cochran was part owner of a company that used the warehouse. He previously was a teacher and principal in the Seaman School District from 1975 to 2000.