Local News

Documents uncover conflicting accounts of Cooper marriage

Posted July 23, 2008
Updated July 24, 2008

— Attorneys for Brad Cooper filed a motion Wednesday for the release of autopsy findings in the death of his slain wife, Nancy Cooper.

Attorneys Howard Kurtz and Seth Blum assert that a petition Nancy Cooper's family filed last week seeking custody of their client's two young daughters implies he was involved in his wife's death. They want the opportunity to "challenge the plaintiffs' unfounded insinuation," according to the motion.

The motion is one of three filed on Brad Cooper's behalf in the custody case. Last week, a judge awarded temporary emergency custody to their maternal grandparents, Garry and Donna Rentz, and maternal aunt, Krista Lister.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Friday.

Nancy Cooper's family's attorney, Alice Stubbs, also filed numerous affidavits late Wednesday afternoon from friends and neighbors who claim Brad Cooper was an absent father who was socially awkward, controlling and emotionally abusive.

Jessica Adam, who reported Nancy Cooper missing on July 12, states she believes he killed his wife.

Cary police have not named any suspects or persons of interest in the homicide case but have said the crime was not random. They have also said that Brad Cooper has been cooperative with investigators. His attorneys maintain he did not kill his wife.

Nancy Cooper had been missing for two days when a man found her body, wearing little clothing, while walking his dog on July 14.

In the petition for custody filed last week, Nancy Cooper's family claims Brad Cooper was emotionally abusive to her and the children, withheld funds for basic needs, had a sexual relationship with another woman and threatened suicide last winter.

Another affidavit filed Wednesday contains a recommendation from a psychologist that if the claims were true, Brad Cooper should have a mental evaluation before he has any more contact with the children

But Brad Cooper's attorneys say in another motion that Nancy Cooper described her husband as a "fit father" and that she had been seeking joint custody prior to her death because "she believed it was in her daughters' best interest to have contact with their father."

The motion also alleges Nancy Cooper had an "extramarital encounter" and that his "liaison" with another woman should have no bearing on Brad Cooper's fitness as a parent. In an affidavit, Brad Cooper said his wife's "extramarital relationship" occurred four years before their oldest daughter was born.

"Nancy insisted that she did nothing wrong, that her relationship with the other man only happened once, it wasn't sexual and that no one even knew his name," the document stated.

Stubbs had no comment about the claim Wednesday afternoon.

Nancy Cooper's friends also allege in affidavits that Brad Cooper had at least four extramarital affairs, including one with Heather Metour, who they say was Nancy Cooper’s best friend at the time of the affair.

“She’s upset any of this that occurred four years ago is being brought up at all. It's got nothing to do with the custody case,” Metour’s lawyer John McNeil said Wednesday.

In the affidavit, Brad Cooper also denies that he threatened to commit suicide. He admits to having a "heated argument" with his wife once when his children were present. Otherwise, "we rarely had them in front of the children and usually did not yell at each other," he said.

Brad Cooper also says he shared in the daily care of his daughters and "changed countless diapers" and "contributed in every way possible to their care."

He also speaks about claims that he withheld funds, saying he put his wife on an allowance after her spending habits amounted to approximately $45,000 in "unmanageable" credit card debt.

"I loved Nancy very much, and I wanted to stay married to her," he said in the affidavit.

A draft of the couple's separation agreement lays out plans for the division of the couple's assets and custody arrangements. It states Nancy Cooper would have primary custody and be entitled to move back to her native homeland of Canada.

Brad Cooper would be allowed to see their children at least every other weekend. The children could travel to him, provided Nancy Cooper accompanied them on each flight, and that he pay for any travel expenses incurred, including his wife's.

Nancy Cooper remembered in Canada

Meanwhile, Wednesday, hundreds of Nancy Cooper's family and friends gathered for a memorial service at Grace Lutheran Church in her hometown of Edmonton, Alberta.

The service began with a slideshow set to a medley of music including Garth Brooks' "The Dance," "Crazy Love" and "You Are My Sunshine," a song she frequently sang to her two daughters, Bella, 4, and Katie, who turned 2, on Wednesday.

The Canadian Broadcasting Co. reported Wednesday that an urn and photos of Cooper would be placed at the front of the church during the service.

"Her brother is going to share some thoughts that a couple of friends in North Carolina have written up and passed on for him to share," Pastor Larry MacKay, who led the service, told CBC-Canada. "And then a close friend from some years back is also going to share some memories of her."

Attorneys for Brad Cooper said he would not attend Wednesday's service, saying he planned to hold a private memorial with friends in Cary.

Nearly 200 people showed up for a public memorial service Saturday at Koka Booth Amphitheater at Regency Park in Cary. The service was marked by some of Cooper's favorite music, and guests wore white in her memory.


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  • Tired of your excuses Jul 24, 2008

    Apparently we all are anxiously following this story. Look at the number of posts that have accumulated so far.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 24, 2008

    I hope this man/father finds peace and will be able to see his girls soon. If they find out the father did not murder his wife, her family then will have to give the children back to him. They will probably have a hard time seeing the girls after that.

  • jmflu Jul 24, 2008

    Thanks for that link.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 24, 2008

    Dataclerk...I think the male anatomy likely led him to the affair.

    I can clearly see where your mind is.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 24, 2008

    Excuse me - I have never had the privelege of sitting home and taking care of our children while the husband/daddy works. Some of you (you are right) have it made and don't even know it. Anyway, having an affair, running up a credit, spending money, hanging with friend, do not constiture taking of another's life. If you can not live together in harmony any more, than leave and don't bother the other party. But some of us cannot do that. Its call CONTROL people. My rule is: Not to be controlled by any man, period. :)

  • hollylama Jul 24, 2008

    Citizens...I'm not sure if you've been around alot of married couples but what traditionally happens (folks correct me if I'm wrong). But everything is hunkydory after the honeymoon and then kids come along. The wife stays home to take care of the kids and the husband works. Neither has an appreciation of what the other does so animosity comes into the picture. The wife gets fed up with taking care of the kids all the time so she starts to rebel and hangs out with friends more (now) leaving the husband at home to care for the kids. Now the husband feels even more animosity because he feels like he's now working and taking care of the kids. After awhile would such a situation take its toll and lead to murder?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 24, 2008

    did she live a perfect life?

    Still seeking a true answer to this one.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 24, 2008

    If you do some research you'll find that most men have an affair after children enter the relationship and the wife's attention shifts to the kids.

    Obviously, you have no idea. Women have affairs too. So what really drives a person to seek something elsewhere when they are married? Being abuse can cause a person to have an affair. I am speaking in general not about the man that is being accused of killing his wife. None of you have proof of such. The law officers has not brought anything forth saying he did it. True facts is what people is seeking.

  • Sumo Vita Jul 24, 2008

    Kudos to Mogwai for urging patience until all the facts come to light, and for successfully countering the spate of emotion driven rabble-rousing on this site today. It's particularly offensive when some here brag about "cheering" should their opinions be vindicated. This is a tragedy, not a game - and decency requires that greater decorum be accorded the outcome.

  • hollylama Jul 24, 2008

    Kyhill...the body is still at the State Examiner's office. The urn was on display for display purposes. Lets keep in mind the investigation is still ongoing... The parents wanted to put the family's minds at rest so they went ahead with the funeral.