Andrea Regina Cochlin-Boyer
25 Years Old

October 21, 1981 to January 23, 2007

She was born into a Navy family. She was the youngest of three sisters. She was the smallest, kindest, funniest, most talkative individual one could ever meet. To say Andrea loved people, and animals (critters), would be an understatement. At 25-years, and 110 pounds, her heart was always open for any “underdog” human or animal. Some called it a “flaw.” For those who knew her—it was her most endearing quality. Andrea had a gift for making anyone, human or critter, feel better. In Australia at the age of five, she brought home in her backpack an orphaned kangaroo from her Australian pre-school. The baby ‘roo’s’ mother was killed by a car and only “she” could give it proper care. In Hawaii, a whole flock of peacocks huddled around our eight-year-old. They all tried to win her attention as she herded them away from the parking lot. As a young woman she adopted a one-eyed Pit-Bull puppy, runt of the litter, because she was afraid no one else would take care of it. That was Andrea. She would never abandon anyone or thing in need. Her decision to become a Veterinary Technician surprised no one. Andrea loved people and animals. Sadly, those two kingdoms came together in front of the vet clinic underneath a huge Oak Tree two days after her murder during a candlelight vigil. Family, friends, and co-workers all took their turn sharing fond remembrances of Andrea. It was then that I noticed a man hovering around the perimeter of the gathering. He looked out-of-place. Most of the people sported hats, shorts and sandals. He wore long pants and a worn trench coat which covered a heavy cloth bag under his arm. He looked homeless. While everyone was standing still, he was constantly moving along the outer edges of the crowd. I scanned the crowd as I concluded my remarks and he wasn’t there. I lost sight of him. As the vigil finished, and people began to mill about, I felt a firm tug on my arm. It was him. He motioned for my attention. As I leaned towards him...he tells me, “I’m Big Jack. Your daughter was our friend. She cared about us. We’ll miss her very much.” “Thank you,” I replied. He responded by reaching into his bag and pulling-out a small Rat Terrier. “This is “Little Jack” and he misses Andrea already,” Big Jack continues with “we’ll never forget her. She talked to us –not at us like most people do. She made sure that Little Jack was healthy. She made sure I was good too, and we’ll never forget her...none of us will…” they then turned and walked away. My encounter with the “Two Jacks” was over. Later, Andrea’s boss, Doctor Shelton, explained, “One day while Andrea took a break the “Two Jacks” were walking along the curb. She struck up a conversation. During that conversation Andrea played with Little Jack, and gave him a quick check-up, while giving half of her sandwich to Big Jack. Before they left Andrea also gave them a few free samples of stockpiled clinic treats and dog food for Little Jack. Periodically, the “Two Jacks” would stop by for a short visit. Sometimes they’d bring new friends and their pets for a visit. In her honor, Doctor Shelton continues what Andrea started—free pet exams and treats for the pets of the homeless who visit the clinic. That was Andrea.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

  Andrea left her husband, Shad Boyer, at home for work early on the morning of January 23, 2007.  Her job that morning was to prepare the clinic’s operating room for that day’s scheduled pet surgeries.  A co-worker found her lifeless body on the floor of an outdoor kennel located behind the clinic.  Signs of a horrific struggle were everywhere.  Andrea fought her attacker to no avail.  In addition to the large amounts of blood, her body showed that she had been beaten, stabbed, choked, and raped.  During the assault a fire extinguisher was used by her attacker to crush her skull and end her life.  Local authorities arrested Michael Rennard Jackson 24-days later for the rape and murder of Andrea.  Jackson, a convicted sexual predator, had been on parole for four months.  He completed 14 years of a 30 year sentence for raping, and brutalizing a 14 year old girl in her own home.  His victim, prosecuting attorney, and prison officials recommended not to free him.  The prison was over-crowded.  They let him go. He murdered Andrea.  Because of Florida’s mandatory Sexual Predator Registry, he was arrested on a straight DNA match.  After almost four years, he was found guilty of all charges and was sentenced to death by lethal injection.  (Update:  In December 2012, the Florida State Court of Appeals overturned Jackson’s conviction.  The Court took exception to showing a videotape of a case detective’s initial interview and arrest of Mr. Jackson to the jury during his trial.  He will be retried.)

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Andrea Regina Cochlin-Boyer