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Brad Cooper's attorney: 'He did not kill his wife'

Posted July 18, 2008
Updated July 19, 2008

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— Relatives and close friends of a slain Cary mother of two attended a private vigil on Friday evening, while her husband's attorney defended his client against "wild speculation" and "bizarre and unsupported theories" reported on TV and the Internet.

Brad Cooper "has been very, very clear with police: He did not kill his wife," attorney Seth Blum told reporters Friday afternoon.

Blum said that Brad Cooper has cooperated in everything police have asked of him during the investigation into the homicide of Nancy Cooper, 34. He has made himself, his home and vehicles available to investigators, Blum said.

"Brad Cooper is a very private man, and he is not accustomed to the hot glare of the media spotlight," the attorney said. "He never dreamed that he would see his face splashed across television news shows or his name in headlines, especially not under these terrible circumstances."

Blum declined, however, to rebut any reports about his client, saying that doing so would jeopardize the integrity of the murder investigation.

"Any answer that I give to that would draw attention to a specific fact and could compromise the investigation, and we're not willing to do that," he said.

The attorney said that Brad Cooper is in mourning and that people grieve in different ways.

Also mourning, were dozens who attended the private vigil for Nancy Cooper at Triangle Academy Preschool, 200 Dancers Lane, on Friday evening.

"It has been particularly hard for those who knew her and loved her, and this is the best we could hope for," Julia Cobley, Nancy Cooper's music teacher.

Blum's news conference came on the heels of a series of Cary police news conferences this week in which Nancy Cooper's family members spoke publicly about their loss. It also came two days after they filed for custody of the Coopers' two young daughters, claiming emotional abuse and an extramarital affair on Brad Cooper's part.

Blum declined to comment on the custody matter, asking the public to allow it to be handled privately.

"Mr. Cooper loves his daughters. They are two little girls who have done nothing to deserve what they are going through," he said. "Like any good father, he wants to shield them from all horrors, and this is clearly a horrible, horrible thing."

Nancy Cooper's relatives said they have not found a way to tell Bella, 4, and Katie, 2, about their mother's death.

"We're pretty fortunate that Krista (Cooper's twin sister) has a striking resemblance to their mother, so that's comforting to them," Jim Lister, Nancy Cooper's brother-in-law, said.

Brad Cooper attended one of the police press briefings on Monday and has since been absent from them. He was expected to attend one Tuesday afternoon, but decided not to at the last minute.

"Attending press briefings does nothing to catch a killer," Blum said.

Cary police said Thursday they have no suspects or persons of interest in Nancy Cooper's death, but do not believe it was random.

Brad Cooper told police his wife went jogging July 12 around 7 a.m. and never returned. Authorities recovered her body earlier this week less than three miles from her home.

Garry Rentz, Nancy Cooper's father, said Friday morning he and his daughter were close and that he had not been worried about her.

"I knew every detail of what was going on, from her concerns to her worries to whatever," he said. "She shared everything."

"I was worried," her mother, Donna Rentz, said.

Brad Cooper told WRAL News earlier this week that he and his wife were having marriage difficulties. Cary police Chief Pat Bazemore confirmed that Tuesday and said the information would be part of the investigation.

On Wednesday, investigators obtained a search warrant for a detailed search of the Cooper home and for forensic evidence from Brad Cooper. Investigators took several large brown bags from the home.

Forensic evidence from a murder victim's spouse is a routine procedure, and Bazemore has said that an investigation "is as important for ruling things out as it is for ruling things in."

Funeral services for Nancy Cooper were still pending Friday afternoon. A public memorial service was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park, 8003 Regency Parkway.


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  • AdeputiesWife Jul 21, 2008

    These post are terrible..... It is a very sad situtation. As far as brad being the killer no one knows, yes it looks bad that he went ahead and hired a lawyer and who knows it may be him. If you noticed on t.V so many husbands are killing their wives. Its almost like they get the idea after one does it. But i personally don't think people should say anything about nancy cooper or anything until they got the FACTS!

  • Adelinthe Jul 21, 2008

    mogwai - Exactly!

    So many here think they have all the answers. Well they may - but they have no way of knowing if they're the right ones or if they've been manufactured in LaLaLand.

    Praying for the truth so that the idiotz will shut up.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Jul 21, 2008

    First of all, I'm sure there's something in the court documents that cover the grandparents taking the girls to Canada. Our courts are often blind, but they're rarely dumb.

    Secondly, and hear this well - when I die, there better be a government-owned facility open for my mourners (all 3 of 'em) to mourn me without paying anything, and it danged well better be televised.


    Sad though this is - this woman was not a public figure; to my knowledge, she did not walk on water; nor could she fly without a plane. So using taxpayer-owned facilities for this vigil was just plain wrong because it was misappropriation and who paid for the facility staff, electricity and water used during this event?

    Praying for the children.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • IfByWhiskey-a-go-go Jul 18, 2008

    Welcome to trial by media. Never seen a bigger bunch of gossipers and keyboard lawyers in my entire life. "If he is innocent, why did he hire a lawyer?" That has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen on GOLO, and that is saying a lot.

  • kyhillgirl Jul 18, 2008

    "If the family is allowed to take those girls to Canada, they will never return to the U.S. Brad Cooper will be left to fight for his own kids in Canadian courts."

    I am as floored as many of you that the court is allowing them to go out of country, and have a question about that.

    If he is found innocent, will the USA not have to deal with Canada in getting the children back. They were the ones who let them go, they are responsible. IIRC the order did state that North Carolina had jurisdiction. I suppose Canada could attemnpt to take that away though. I am not well versed in international child custody laws, anyone....??

  • lauraleigh Jul 18, 2008

    You wouldn't hire an attorney if you were innocent? The man has Estate matters to attend to, in addition to the fact that his wife was murdered. His hiring legal counsel is very routine and not suspicious.

    And I've known good men who've declined to fight, on principle, equally bad battles.

    The in-laws ... they have said a lot, haven't they? So did my ex-in-laws, rather than admit their son bore any responsibility for the failure of our marriage. My ex-mil made a roaring campaign of the issue.

    The whole thing here, with news conferences and sympathy-courting, is downright undignified.

    I decline to convict and execute Mr. Cooper on what we now know.

  • FloydTurbo Jul 18, 2008

    Time to bring in Horatio Caine and his CSI team. This would all be wrapped up in 56 minutes.

  • My5cents Jul 18, 2008

    Funny to read so many ignorant comments. What did you people do before blogs.

  • gnew46 Jul 18, 2008

    "Blum declined, however, to rebut any reports about his client,"

    Smart man. Never get in a Pea contest with a bunch of skunks.

  • gnew46 Jul 18, 2008

    How can anyone here convict this man? Let the facts, not speculation, speak for themselves. Because he doesn't want to talk to the hounding press does not make him guilty of murder. Or has everyone forgotten the case of the Duke LaCrosse players where the press and others served as judge, jury and executioner for three innocent young men, BEFORE the facts were out.