Husband of woman fatally struck by car in Pittsburg faces suspect in court

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A Pittsburg man faced the accused driver of a car that hit and killed his wife in a Martinez courtroom Thursday afternoon. (KGO-TV)

Thursday in a Martinez courtroom, a Pittsburg man faced the driver accused of hitting and killing his wife earlier in the week.

Aroldo Vela-Chavez is charged with murder in the death of Linda Cochran.

Minutes after seeing the man who allegedly mowed down his wife Linda, Pittsburg's Jay Cochran said why he felt he needed to be in court in the front row.

RELATED: Woman taking morning walk struck, killed by car in Pittsburg

"He didn't see Linda's face. He's going to see my face time and time again," Cochran said. "I'm going to be here every single time there's a hearing, every single time there's any type of event taking place with that defendant. I'm going to be here and Linda's going to be with me."

Linda Cochran, 65, was killed instantly Tuesday morning while on her morning walk along West Leland Road. Cochran had just retired. A mother of 5, she was the primary caregiver for the couple's two disabled sons.

"My wife continuously thought about the family first," Cochran said.

Vela-Chavez, 26, made a brief court appearance, but did not enter a plea to charges of murder, vehicular manslaughter and felony evading.

Pittsburg police say one of their officers briefly chased the speeding blue Camaro seconds before it hit Cochran, smashed through a chain link fence, and drove several hundred yards onto the Delta View Golf Course.

"I think his bad decisions should have consequences too. I'm here to make sure there's as much justice as we can get and put him behind bars for as long as possible," Cochran said.

Vela-Chavez has a prior conviction for DUI. Investigators are awaiting blood tests to determine if alcohol or drugs were involved in Tuesday's accident.
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