Noteworthy

Nancy Cooper case was about domestic violence

Posted May 6, 2011
Updated May 9, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— In the wake of Brad Cooper's murder conviction, family and friends of his slain wife, Nancy Cooper, say they want to continue supporting efforts to bring awareness to domestic violence.

"Domestic violence has to stop," her mother, Donna Rentz, said Thursday, minutes after a jury returned a first-degree murder verdict against her former son-in-law.

Testimony lasted eight weeks in the trial, which experts say highlighted the fact that domestic violence comes in many forms.

Nancy's Butterfly Fund (partial logo) Nancy's Butterfly Fund

"It does illustrate that domestic violence is not just the physical violence, but it includes emotional violence, financial control, emotional abuse and sexual violence, which is often not visible," said Johnny Lee, director of Peace at Work, a Raleigh group dedicated to domestic violence prevention. "There's no physical scars."

More than a dozen of Nancy Cooper's friends and family members testified in the trial that her husband of seven years had become controlling in the months prior to her July 2008 death.

Signs, they said, included cutting access to their bank and credit card accounts, putting her on a weekly allowance and taking their children's passports, making it difficult for her and the children to leave.

"We know that (our) loss is a result of domestic violence," father Garry Rentz said. "We'd like to do what we can to solve the problem or to save some other family from the journey we've just gone through."

Nancy Cooper gala benefits domestic violence victims

That's why family and friends created Nancy's Butterfly Fund in 2009, which works with the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence to raise money to minimize the financial obstacles that might prevent women from leaving violent and nonviolent abusive situations.

"Nancy was so warm. She was so loving. Her soul was just vibrant and full of energy," friend Jennifer Fetterolf said. "If we can keep her memory alive and, at the same time, help domestic violence victims that are out there and provide resources, then I think it's important for us and we're making progress in the right direction."

The fund's annual charity gala, which has been planned for months, is Saturday at 6 p.m. at Embasssy Suites Hotel in Cary.

"We have justice for Nancy, and now we're focused on celebrating her and having this gala," Fetterolf, who's also a co-organizer of the event, said.

93 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dollibug May 16, 2011

    ++++The title of this article still REALLY bothers me. There is NO evidence that Brad abused Nancy in ANY way! Putting your unemployed wife on a $1200 a month budget is NOT being financially controlling. Witnesses testified in the case that they never witnessed Brad being abusive toward Nancy. Nancy, on the other hand, had no problem yelling and screaming at Brad in public. I hope Brad sues WRAL for this headline, and sues the Cary Police Chief for starting the whole "domestic abuse" BS!
    solarflare40

    I think the law enforcment just wanted people to think that this was a case of domestic violence...in the worst way....nope...I DO NOT THINK SO....and I hope that eventually people will know what really happened here...that Brad Cooper DID NOT MURDER Nancy Cooper....but that the killer(s) was someone that the public had no idea that he/she could have done it...

  • dollibug May 11, 2011

    Jugdges and attorneys both take OATHS and swear to uphold the LAW....I guess these people took their oaths so long ago..that they perhaps "forgot" what they swore to....no doubt...someone should be sitting in all COURTS to oversee just what happens in court...this proves that there should be someone IN CONTROL....

  • dollibug May 11, 2011

    ++++he should have pled guilty to second degree, at least he may have gotten out one day!
    UreapwhatUsow

    Excuse me? Would YOU plead guilty to something that YOU DID NOT DO? I hope not...and I truly think this is why Brad Cooper DID NOT TAKE A PLEA....he is NOT GUILTY of this crime...and the Prosecutors DID NOT PRESENT ANY EVIDENCE to PROVE his GUILTY...
    BRAD COOPER DID NOT GET A FAIR AND JUST TRIAL...and I do NOT care what anyone says...the trial videos SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES...
    there was no JUSTICE in the way this trial was handled...Magoo
    DID not know that "gossip, hearsay and gut feelings" are NOT ALLOWED in a court of law....that's it...and he did NOT know enough about computers and cell phone technology to be in control of this trial...and since there is NO OTHER CONTROL in court cases....as we, the people, are supposed to TRUST the COURT? You gotta be kidding....right?

  • solarflare40 May 11, 2011

    The title of this article still REALLY bothers me. There is NO evidence that Brad abused Nancy in ANY way! Putting your unemployed wife on a $1200 a month budget is NOT being financially controlling. Witnesses testified in the case that they never witnessed Brad being abusive toward Nancy. Nancy, on the other hand, had no problem yelling and screaming at Brad in public. I hope Brad sues WRAL for this headline, and sues the Cary Police Chief for starting the whole "domestic abuse" BS!

  • dollibug May 11, 2011

    +++On the larger topic of the criminal justice in NC:

    The District Attorneys in NC are supporting a bill to limit which cases can be reviewed by the Innocence Inquiry Commission.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/08/1183240/guilty-or-was-plea-just-best-choice.html

    The proposed bill is the opposite of what was discussed a year ago by those who created the Commission:

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/wral_investigates/story/7720076/
    unc70

    These people want to "cover themselves and protect what they do to people"

    USE YOUR VOICE....BE HEARD....

  • dollibug May 11, 2011

    I find this article interesting..but I would like for someone to explain how Brad Cooper supposedly "just snapped" and killed Nancy Cooper..I do not think that this is how "domestic violence" happens..I think that the law officials just wanted to convict Brad Cooper and did whatever it took..regardless of how "legal and lawful" it was..this is not the first case which has "happened here in North Carolina" and I do not think it will be the last..people..what happened to Brad Cooper in court..could happen to anyone at anytime..and we, the citizens of North Carolina need to use our "voice and speak up"..for those of you who feel like "justice" was done..I truly hope that one day..you will know what this means..as there was NO JUSTICE in the TRIAL..NONE.and I do not, for a minute, think that there has been "closure"..there is still a killer(s) on the loose..thinking that they were really smart.and got away with MURDER.I hope that soon they will be repaid 10 times what they have done to BC.

  • solarflare40 May 11, 2011

    In an attempt to gain the nations attention, I email 48 Hours yesterday to ask them to help. Please do the same so we get some justice for Brad Cooper. Their email address is 48hours@cbsnews.com - please email now. The more emails they receive, the more likely they will do something!

  • solarflare40 May 10, 2011

    Very much worth repeating the link:

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-604838

    Please go read the article and post comments (you have to sign up just like with GOLO) so we can bring our nation's attention to the injustice Brad Cooper received from our court system. The man needs a FAIR trial! Please copy the link and post it repeatedly so people can see what is posted on CNN's site!

  • Tray Cee May 10, 2011

    I feel very sorry for the Rentz family for their lose but from listening to the trial I did not get the impression that Nancy was a victim of domestic violence whether physical, verbal or emotionally.
    Wish someone would preview Ms. Lamb's stories before they just get posted and become fact.

  • solarflare40 May 10, 2011

    I hope Brad sues Nancy's parents when his conviction is overturned. There is absolutely NO PROOF of domestic violence - PERIOD!!!

More...