Local News

Media appeal sealing of Cooper search warrants

Posted August 25, 2008

— WRAL News and the News & Observer appealed Monday, a week after a judge ordered three search warrants in the Nancy Cooper case to stay sealed until Sept. 2.

Cooper, 34, was found dead in an undeveloped subdivision just outside Cary’s town limit on July 14, two days after a friend reported her missing.

In the appeal, the media attorneys assert that the Wake County district attorney has not made an adequate case for sealing the warrants.

Prosecutors have argued that making information in the warrants public could hurt the case.

Amanda Martin, an attorney representing Capitol Broadcasting Co. – the parent company of WRAL News – and The News & Observer Publishing Co., said it was the state's burden to prove why the integrity of the investigation could not be protected any other way.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said in sealing the warrants that he needs to balance all interests in the case.

One of documents allowed police to search the home and vehicles of Nancy Cooper and her husband, Brad Cooper, as well as to obtain DNA samples from Brad Cooper. That warrant originally was sealed for 30 days and had been expected to be released Monday.

Another warrant was for Brad Cooper's office at Cisco Systems in Research Triangle Park. The third was for an undisclosed location.

Authorities have said they do not believe Nancy Cooper's slaying was a random crime, but they have not named a suspect or person of interest in the case. They've said little else about the case since then.

The warrants are of interest because they include affidavits in which investigators explain to the court why they believe the warrant is justified, possibly including their theories of a case or explaining why a named person is being targeted for the search.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • islandgirl Aug 26, 2008


  • georgeorwell1 Aug 26, 2008

    The only reason they are appealing this is so they can run a new story full of assumptions and wrongly quoted people. Keep them sealed until after the trial. Who cares what the media wants, they will run false stories knowingly if they thought they could make a buck off of it.

  • Linger Aug 26, 2008

    The warrants should stay sealed until the police have completed their investigations.

    WRAL and CBC needs to get their panties out of a wad and quit tying up the justice systems resources unnecessarily.

  • bs101fly Aug 26, 2008

    "This article makes WRAL sound like the National Enquirer"

    EXACTLY!!! What a bunch of ambulance chasing germs! It's NONE of your biz wral and I'm sure the judge will tell you that!

    Why don't you worry about getting your lousy forecasters in sync with their equipment and personalities and leave a local murder to those that NEED to know!

    We don't and neither do you!!!

  • whocares Aug 26, 2008

    This article makes WRAL sound like the National Equirer. Enquiring minds want to know. NO I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. I want the police and the other investigators to be able to do their job and without interference from reporters. Sealing the warrants is the only way that the police can make sure that the person they arrest is the real person who committed this crime and not someone that the media ran down so that they could get a story. There is crucial evidence in these warrants and I for one want them to remain sealed.

  • brezinmjkm Aug 26, 2008

    The media just can't wait. What happened to justice and letting law enforcement do their jobs? It takes more than the one hour in TV crime show episodes to solve most crimes--including murder. Give it a rest! Either it's a slow day in the news business or these media folks have nothing better to do with their time. While Nancy Cooper's death is tragic, a good case needs to be in place before just arresting someone because the media wants an arrest. Let the law enforcement professionals do their job! Please!!

  • wcnc Aug 26, 2008

    Shame on WRAL for wanting these warrants unsealed. Show me how it would do any good other than give you a news story??

    And who says the police have to name a suspect?? What if the person they are looking at is talking or giving them info and if they name that person as a suspect, they will shut up and give no more info. That would be ridiculous to lose that just because they are naming a suspect.

  • thinkbee Aug 26, 2008

    The media just want to create more sensationalism - as usual. They should stay sealed until releasing them does not jeopardize the investigation. It's not the public that's asking for this!

  • Wags Aug 26, 2008

    I don't think the police have anything.

  • something2say Aug 26, 2008

    I would guess they will extend the time they remain sealed so WRAL and N&O are trying to address it now.

    I would like this case to show some progress. It is concerning that a suspect has not been officially named! I don't think unsealing these documents will do anything but confuse the public and possibly add to the public and media convicting someone based on little information. So Cary PD, jump on it and come to resolution. Either arrest someone or let the public know you have no idea who did this! This case is not going to quietly go away!