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Hearing on Cooper warrants set for Thursday

Posted July 29, 2008

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— A hearing is planned in Wake County Thursday to consider whether search warrants in the case of a murdered Cary mother should be released to the public.

Lawyers representing Capitol Broadcasting Co., the parent of WRAL News, and The News & Observer delivered a letter of intent to Judge Donald W. Stephens Monday requesting the hearing.

In a July 16 court order, Stephens sealed the warrants for 30 days, ruling that the release of the documents could compromise the ongoing murder investigation or jeopardize a defendant's right to a fair trial.

Authorities have released little information about the slaying of Nancy Cooper, 34, a mother of two who lived in Cary's Lochmere subdivision.

A friend reported Nancy Cooper missing July 12 after she failed to show up for a planned meeting. Her husband, Brad Cooper, told authorities his wife went jogging and never returned.

Her body was found two days later in an undeveloped subdivision just outside Cary’s town limit.

Police have said they do not believe Cooper's death was random. They have not named a suspect or a person of interest in her death.

By law, affidavits to obtain a search warrant must contain a detailed explanation of probable cause, and they usually have specifics about what police believe happened to the victim.

In the motion filed Monday, WRAL's lawyers asked for the warrant application and the list of items seized under conditions of the warrant to be made public.


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  • dogwonder Jul 30, 2008

    I think much of the controversy is due to the police stating that it was not a random crime. My first impression was that they were trying not to scare the public away from the trails/park. But it's still a mystery, as they have told us NOTHING else. By definition, a Non-Random crime is premeditated.
    So I guess that rules out; natural causes or a pack of wolves.
    If they gave us something further - it would lessen all of the wild speculation.
    I can understand why locals want to believe that hubby did it - it's more comforting than the "jogger slasher" on the loose.

  • mom4 Jul 30, 2008

    Why hasn't WRAL reported here that they searched his office yesterday and have another search warrant for somewhere else that they did not list. I think this is important information on this case.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 30, 2008

    Sooner or later the truth on the Cooper case is going to come out. I don't believe the husband took his wife's life, because he has worked with the police giving them everything they ask for. Right now they have not names him or anyone as a suspect.

  • Jay4 Jul 30, 2008

    Agree with those who think the police need to be left alone to do their job. There is a reason those search warrants were sealed by the Judge. The police/investigators know what that reason is. The public does not need to know this information yet.

    As much as I have appreciated WRAL.com having all the pertinent information here about this crime, (and even the N&O), sorry but believe both should withdraw their petition about opening up the warrants to the public - at this time. Overrule them, Judge!

  • LostinSpace Jul 29, 2008

    "Who says Cooper 'voluntarily' gave up his kids? The same judge who took them away to begin with - without cause - was there to make the decision again. At least he got some visitation rights out of it."

    I was under the impression that Brad and his in-laws came up with their own agreement before going before the judge again. Maybe I missed something.

  • Trooper Jul 29, 2008

    What are the search warrants going to inform you about, I think the Freedom of Information act is the worst thing that has happened to the justice system in this country. It denies people in the spot light the ability to receive a fair trial because some sorry reporter for a newspaper or TV station sits in his office, gets news from AP or some other source that usually don't know what they're talking about. The only thing the media wants is to be the first to tell the public something that has happened, of which they know nothing about but we were the first to report it, (BIG DEAL) Wait until the police do the investigating, charge someone, he has a fair trial, innocent or guilty then you have a story. The media only put out their opinions and you know what they say about opinions!

  • hp277 Jul 29, 2008

    Who says Cooper 'voluntarily' gave up his kids? The same judge who took them away to begin with - without cause - was there to make the decision again. At least he got some visitation rights out of it.

    It's not the best situation by any means, but when a judge will take away your kids without ANY evidence and just a bunch of unsubstantiaded rumors, you gotta take what you can get. That's not being self centered - that's being realistic.

  • mmania Jul 29, 2008


    Why do you care? Do you live in that neighborhood? Are you scared of this man? Mind your own business.

  • uglytruth Jul 29, 2008

    "Search warrants, like 911 calls, are a matter of public record. It's how our justice system works. It's the difference between our system & those of other countries. It is not only to keep the citizens informed, it is also to keep the justice system from becoming corrupted. Media has a responsibility to report that which is all a part of the legal system. WRAL would be remiss in NOT reporting the news on crimes."

    The media can't the the story straight even when the facts are readily available. Why should they have access to information that's harder to get?

  • dixie dingo Jul 29, 2008

    Where is Brad Cooper now? Is he back in the house? Has he gone back to work? Are the police still talking with him?