Suspect in brutal Prytania Street killing extradited to N.O. _lowres

Travis Cochran

A man who fled the city after being named as a suspect in a brutal killing a year and a half ago has been extradited to New Orleans after being arrested this fall in Georgia.

Travis Cochran, 27, is being held in Orleans Parish Prison on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 33-year-old Ahmad Sheppard. The Bourbon Street DJ was found bound and gagged early June 14, 2013, in a pool of blood inside a neighbor’s ransacked apartment in the 2000 block of Prytania Street. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.

The trail for a suspect initially went cold after his death until DNA evidence linked Cochran to the crime, according to an arrest warrant signed Sept. 19, 2013.

Cochran allegedly fled the city after being questioned by detectives this summer but was arrested Oct. 29 during a traffic stop in Banks County, Georgia.

He gave a false name during the stop, police have said, but was identified through fingerprints. He was jailed in Gwinnett County until he was extradited to New Orleans.

A second suspect in the case has yet to be identified.

After New Orleans police were called to the scene the night of the killing, they concluded that the gunmen first ransacked the apartment of Sheppard’s neighbor and took several items. The arrest warrant for Cochran does not specify what was taken.

Shortly after that, the gunmen got into Sheppard’s apartment, took him next door and bound his hands and feet with string and black electrical tape, according to the warrant. They then pistol-whipped him and shot him.

While combing the scene for evidence, investigators found a plastic glove on the kitchen floor of the unit where Sheppard was killed.

Cochran’s DNA was found on that glove and also on the tape used to bind Sheppard’s legs, according to the warrant.

Cochran met with detectives on Aug. 7, 2013, and was shown photographs of Sheppard and the apartment where he was killed but claimed he didn’t know Sheppard or have any reason to be at his apartment.

Cochran remained locked up Friday without bail, according to Orleans Parish Prison records. Homicide Detective Tanisha Sykes is leading the investigation.

Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.