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Man killed in stabbing was defending a friend

Tue., Jan. 20, 2009, 5:16 p.m.

Shannon Cochran died defending a friend.

When a group of five teenagers told him they planned to pummel Ricky Edmonds over a $300 drug debt, the 22-year-old Cochran told them, “If you have a beef with Ricky, you have a beef with me,” according to an arrest document for one of the men accused of murder.

A stab wound to the heart killed Cochran on Friday. Doctors told police he suffered eight stab wounds inflicted by a steak knife.

Michael Summa, 19, is in Spokane County Jail on $750,000 bond. He is charged with second-degree murder. Two others – Tylor Buttolph and Chris Hooper, both 18 – are wanted in connection with Cochran’s death and remained at large Monday.

Police said Cochran had just returned from Lefty’s bar in Spokane when the incident began about 2:20 a.m. Friday. The teens were pounding on Edmonds’ door in the 1600 block of East Garland, but he didn’t answer. That’s when Cochran got involved and was stabbed to death.

Edmonds’ parents told police Buttolph had been harassing their son for some time, according to the arrest document.

After the fight, the group fled while placing a call to Buttolph’s father, Danny Wood Sr., who picked them up in a car. As the group climbed into Wood’s vehicle, Buttolph asked Summa “why he stabbed Shannon Cochran so many times?” according to the arrest document.

Wood drove the group from the scene, said Spokane Police Sgt. Joe Peterson. “They (the suspects) threw the knife from his car. He dropped off three at one house and took the other two home with him where they began to discuss a plan for when authorities arrived. He lied to us when we showed up. He offered his son an alibi saying he’d been there the whole night.”

Wood was being held in Spokane County Jail for first-degree rendering criminal assistance, according to an inmate roster.

Buttolph and Hooper have extensive criminal histories, authorities said.

Meanwhile, those close to Cochran are mourning his death.

“Shannon was a genuinely good person and he was loved by many,” wrote Crystal Runions, a close family friend, in an e-mail. “All I can say is that we loved him a lot, and he is going to be missed by a good majority of the younger people in this town.”

Contact Jody Lawrence-Turner at (509) 459-5593 or


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