Nancy Cooper

Brad Cooper appeals 2011 murder conviction

Posted November 6, 2012
Updated November 7, 2012

— Attorneys for a Cary man serving life in prison for the high-profile murder of his wife have completed their appellate brief, according to an attorney that represented him in his trial.

Howard Kurtz, a defense attorney for Brad Cooper, posted the brief, which he said was filed Monday, on his law firm's website blog Tuesday. The 47-page document addresses three issues that arose from Cooper's 10-week trial.

Cooper, 39, was found guilty May 5, 2011, of first-degree murder in the July 12, 2008, death of Nancy Cooper. Her body was found in an undeveloped subdivision 3 miles from their home in Cary's Lochmere neighborhood.

Brad Cooper has maintained that his wife went jogging and never returned, but Wake County prosecutors argued that he strangled Nancy Cooper after she got home from a neighborhood party.

The state's evidence was mostly circumstantial, with the exception of a Google Maps search on Brad Cooper's laptop computer.

State witnesses testified that the search was performed the day before Nancy Cooper disappeared, but defense attorneys contended that someone tampered with the computer.

The appeal focuses on the map search and whether Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner erred by not allowing the jury to hear testimony from two computer experts.

Gessner ruled that the defense's expert witness wasn't qualified in computer forensics. A second defense expert wasn't allowed to testify, partly because prosecutors said timing didn't allow for them to prepare for adequate cross-examination.

Another issue in the appeal has to do with whether the judge should have made prosecutors reveal the results of FBI tests on the laptop and how those tests were carried out.

Kurtz, who is not handling the appeal, has said that he believes there is a strong chance to win an appeal.

The brief was due earlier this year but was delayed because Brad Cooper's appellate attorneys did not receive trial transcripts on time.

Although Kurtz said the appeal was filed on Monday, a copy of it wasn't available Tuesday afternoon on the North Carolina Court of Appeals electronic filing site.

The state has 30 days to respond to the brief.


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  • lroberdel Nov 9, 2012

    "I am so sorry Nancy that some people really somehow beleive your husband didn't kill you. They are definitely lacking something..." per dorindarindy

    Correct. We're lacking evidence, a fair trial, a non-biased judge, a competant investigation, etc.

    It is laughable to think an entire department would join hands to conspire to convict an innocent person. Whether you agree there was enough evidence to convict is one thing, but to think a bunch of officers would risk everything to convict someone just for one stat is unrealistic.


    Yes, that never happens. Just ask the Central Park Five. Or Randall Adams. Or Cameron Todd Willingham. Whoops! Can't ask him! Or the West Memphis Three.

    " He did it, found guilty by his peers not the police,..." Sherlock

    Casey Anthony's peers found her not guilty. OJ's peers found him not guilty. What a relief that a jury can never be wrong.

  • Vanilla Skye Nov 9, 2012

    I haven't had time to read the appellate brief yet, for those who have, what do you think his chances are?


  • In Decisive Nov 9, 2012

    "The only lies were made by police and State witnesses"

    Not according to defense attorney Kurtz who told the jury in opening statements his client did lie.

  • lynne0312 Nov 9, 2012

    "The point is police interview different people including the family and during that they will learn things they could check out as true or not true. If a spouse says things they find out are lies that's going to raise a red flag or 2 and cause a closer looksee."
    In Decisive

    The only lies were made by police and State witnesses.

  • Vanilla Skye Nov 8, 2012

    Finally. Excellent News!!

  • Vanilla Skye Nov 8, 2012

    Finally!! Good luck to Brad and his family.
    I hope someday he is reunited with his daughters as well.
    I never believed he killed Nancy.
    This is excellent news.

  • In Decisive Nov 8, 2012

    The point is police interview different people including the family and during that they will learn things they could check out as true or not true. If a spouse says things they find out are lies that's going to raise a red flag or 2 and cause a closer looksee.

  • viking416 Nov 8, 2012

    Evidence was tampered with and then submitted as fact. The defense was blocked by a bias judge of disputing this evidence. The trial/investigation was a sham from day one.

  • ladyblue Nov 8, 2012

    i am not 100% sure this man did kill his wife in this case..nor is anyone else posting...assuming don't make it right.....

  • dollibug Nov 8, 2012 the marriage was doomed...but there are a lot of marriages which are doomed...this does NOT PROVE that BRAD killed NC...and even though *domestic violence* was mentioned...there was NO EVIDENCE that Brad was a part of any...they both cheated...but this did not prove Brad was a killer either...there was a lot of *reasonable doubt* throughout the trial...and no *real evidence pointed that Brad was guilty*...the jurors convicted Brad on nothing but an illusion...the 42 second google search which was not proved that Brad did anyone can even begin to think that there was *justice* for anyone is beyond me...innocent people are indicted, tried and convicted on no evidence does nothing to help the judicial only makes things the real criminals are never found and was indeed a *tough break* for Brad and it just an injustice to Nancy and her family...