Leonard Cochrane

On December 8, 2020, the Calgary Police Service arrested 51-year-old Leonard Brian Cochrane for the July 11, 1994 murders of 26-year-old Barry Christian Buchart and 25-year-old Trevor Thomas Deakins in Calgary, Alberta.

Two men broke into the victims’ home in Southeast Calgary and shot and killed the two men before feeling the scene. Police believe that the murders were part of a dispute over drug sales at the residence.

The case was reopened in 2019. Investigators were able to obtain a DNA profile of the suspect from blood found at the crime scene.

There is currently no information on who conducted the FIGG investigation. The initial confirmation was made through surreptitious sampling.

Cochrane is being tried in the Alberta Court of King’s Bench on two counts of first-degree murder. The trial began in the end of April of 2023. On May 8, the Court ruled that the defence should be permitted to challenge the FIGG investigation on the grounds that his s. 8 Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was violated. Cochrane is claiming to have a privacy interest in the DNA of his family members who uploaded their DNA to the databases used in the investigation.

This is based on the April 28, 2023, decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Haevischer, 2023 SCC 11 which held that pre-trial motions should only be summarily dismissed if they are manifestly frivolous. A voir dire will now be held to determine the admissibility of the DNA evidence. Justice Yamauchi will rule on the important question of whether the defendant has a privacy interest in other people’s DNA.

On June 27, 2023, Justice Yamauchi ruled that the defence had not established sufficient grounds for the court to entertain a Charter application that Cochrane’s s. 8 rights were violated on the grounds that he had a privacy interest in the shared segments of DNA of his relatives in the genetic genealogy database.

The case against Cochrane is now proceeding. DNA experts testified that the samples from unknown suspect A were found in blood on a vinyl carpet and stair molding in the home, and on a rock in an alley way outside the home. The DNA profile from these samples was compared with Cochrane. His DNA profile was found to be included in the crime scene DNA with a random match probability of 1 in 29 quadrillion.

Cochrane testified in his defence, stating that he met Buchart at a convenience store shortly before the shooting. He went to his home to purchase some drugs when two masked men broke in and shot Buchart and Deakins. He said that he was knocked unconscious, and he bled from a wound to his head – which was the source of the DNA that was found at the crime scene. He was too afraid to come forward and report what he knew. He stated that he lied to the police in his initial interviews with them in December of 2020 because he had been told by attorneys not to cooperate.

Cochrane was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder by Justice Keith Yamauchi on November 24, 2023. He showed no emotion. The judge found Cochrane was not credible. He stated, “He was not exercising his constitutional right to silence. He was aggressively speaking, arguing, denying, and, as it may turn out, lying. He asserted that he had no idea who Mr. Buchart and Mr. Deakins were, had never been to the Residence, had never sported any facial hair and had no involvement in their murders. These were all lies” (para. 195).

The court also found that there was no reasonable explanation for the evidence other than the guilt of the accused, stating that “The facts as presented by Mr. Cochrane are not consistent with the evidence as a whole. It is not a case that they are ‘unusual.’ They are simply not consistent with the overall factual matrix and the objective evidence” (para. 222).

Cochrane’s attorneys have said that they will appeal the verdict. Police have identified and arrested a second suspect, Douglas MacGregor, who us now facing two counts of first-degree murder.



Grant, Meghan. “Accused Calgary Murderer to Argue He Has Privacy Rights Over Family Members’ DNA.” CBC News, May 8, 2023. Accessed May 10, 2023. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-leonard-cochrane-murder-trial-dna-genealogy-1.6836384.

Kost, Hannah. “26 ‘Long and Agonizing’ Years End with Arrest of Calgary Man in 1994 Double Homicide as 2nd Suspect Sought.” CBC News, December 8, 2020. Accessed May 10, 2023. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/leonard-cochrane-barry-buchart-trevor-deakins-murder-calgary-1.5832806.

Martin, Kevin. “DNA Found at Scene of Cold-Case Double Homicide Linked to Murder Suspect, Expert Says.” Calgary Herald, June 28, 2023. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/dna-found-at-scene-of-cold-case-double-homicide-linked-to-murder-suspect-expert-says.

Martin, Kevin. “Defence Can Explore Whether Genetic Tracing Violated Double-Murder Suspect’s Rights, Judge Rules.” Calgary Herald, May 8, 2023. Accessed May 10, 2023. https://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/defence-can-explore-whether-genetic-tracing-violated-double-murder-suspects-rights-judge-rules.

Martin, Kevin. “Killer Shows No Emotion as Calgary Judge Finds Him Guilty of First-Degree Murder in 1994 Slayings.” Calgary Herald, November 24, 2023. Accessed December 10, 2023. https://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/leonard-brian-cochrane-guilty-first-degree-murder-1994-calgary-homicide.

Martin, Kevin. “Suspect in Cold-Case Double Murder Says He was in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time.” Calgary Herald, September 25, 2023. Accessed December 10, 2023. https://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/suspect-in-cold-case-double-murder-says-he-was-in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time.

R v Cochrane, 2023 ABKB 666 (CanLII). https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abkb/doc/2023/2023abkb666/2023abkb666.html.

R v Cochrane, 2023 ABKB 667 (CanLII). https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abkb/doc/2023/2023abkb667/2023abkb667.html.


First Name Leonard
Last Name Cochrane
Other Names
Victims 2 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2020-12-08
IGG Org nd


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1921 Christian Buchart 26 1994-07-11 Calgary, AB Calgary PS First degree murder Accused was convicted after a trial AB King's Bench
1922 Trevor Deakins 25 1994-07-11 Calgary, AB Calgary PS First degree murder Accused was convicted after a trial AB King's Bench

Last updated: February 13, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.