Local News

Brad Cooper wants judge to postpone custody decision

Posted April 28, 2009

— Brad Cooper wants to postpone a permanent custody decision regarding his two young daughters until after his murder trial.

In a motion filed Monday afternoon, the 35-year-old Cary father asked a Wake County court to keep in place a temporary order that places the children, Katie and Bella, in the care of their slain mother's family.

A judge last fall awarded Nancy Cooper's parents, Garry and Donna Rentz, and sister, Krista Lister, temporary custody after they claimed Brad Cooper was an unfit father, mentally unstable and was emotionally abusive to his wife in the months prior to her death.

Nancy Cooper's body was found July 14 in an undeveloped subdivision about three miles from the couple's home. An autopsy found she was likely strangled. Brad Cooper is charged with first-degree murder.

A hearing to decide permanent custody is scheduled for June 1, but in the motion, attorney Deborah Sandlin writes that it is in the best interest of the children to continue the custody hearing until after the criminal trial. No date has been set for that.

"It is Mr. Cooper's desire to shield his children from as much publicity as possible within his control," the motion states. "Mrs. Cooper's murder has drawn international press attention and has been closely followed by the media, locally, nationally and internationally."

Brad Cooper, through his attorneys, has denied playing any role in her death. He has said in court filings he last saw her on July 12 before she went jogging. When she did not return, he has said, he went looking for her.

Calls to Sandlin were not returned Tuesday, but Brad Cooper's defense attorney, Howard Kurtz said, "I think it makes perfect sense," when asked about his client's request to delay the custody hearing.

"The Rentz and Lister families remain committed to Katie and Bella and making sure that the permanent custody order protects the girls," their attorney, Alice Stubbs said. "We are reviewing the motion and will file a response at the appropriate time."


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  • pebbles262004 Apr 29, 2009

    I don't think that Brad killed his wife...I think they should look at her so called good friend.....what you going to do when they come for you..

  • Raptus Regaliter Apr 28, 2009

    iamyeary & foghat4545,

    Since NC & Wake County is in such a budget crisis, why not just skip the trial phase for B. Cooper, and go right to the penalty phase? I mean he's guilty as sin, right.....the state does not to prove anything.....right? And since Nifong was just an odd anomoly, and no other DA anywhere else in the county has ever arrested and tried the wrong person.....why worry right?

    I bet you both believe in Unicorns and the Tooth Fairy too....right?

    Further, and even if he goes to trial, and is found not guilty by some twist of fate, he should never get his kids back, do I have that ....right?

    I hope you two never get arrested for anything......right?

  • iamyeary Apr 28, 2009

    I predict Mr. Cooper will be in jail for life, just like Scott Peterson. IMO, This child custody issue that he keeps in the news is just his way to show that he is not giving up on his chances to get away with murder. I don't believe he really wants the children.

  • Drakula_I_G Apr 28, 2009

    Nifong was a statistical anomaly.
    Trust the jury.
    And even if by some 0.01% chance he is found not guilty, he'd still lose in civil court on custody by preponderance of the evidence.

  • Raptus Regaliter Apr 28, 2009


    I seem to remember that a certain Durham DA also charged 3 Duke boys with rape. He must have had some real good evidence, ya think?

    Please understand, I am not equating the current Wake County DA with Nifong. Nor am I saying that B. Cooper is innocent. What I am saying is that arrest charge is just that; a charge that has yet to be proved in a court of law.

    Find him guilty first, then throw away the key; not the other way around....

  • Drakula_I_G Apr 28, 2009

    um, bnice, they wouldn't have charged him with murder unless they had some dang good evidence ... he's going down

  • bnice1984 Apr 28, 2009

    tiger50: actually, no one KNOWS Brad is guilty. he is the most likely suspect in the case but there is very little evidence against him and i seem to remember footage of him at the grocery store while Nancy was jogging or something like that. it just seems wrong this man has been in jail almost a year awaiting trial with not much evidence. stop letting people speculate and send him to court already, and if he's guilty throw him under the jail.

  • ReallyBigYawn Apr 28, 2009

    Doesn't really matter. If he's found not guilty after the trial, he'll just sue the grand parents, get the kids back and move away. If he's found guilty then it's a done deal anyway.

  • cocker_mom Apr 28, 2009

    Agree - temporary custody should be extended - not sure why the push to make it permanent?

  • tiger50 Apr 28, 2009

    Those 2 little girls are exactly where they need to be - safe with their grandparents and aunt. He isn't getting out of prison anyhow - - we all know he is guilty - we just have to go through the ritual of the trial to find out the real answers. however, HE knows the outcome already. He is stalling and hoping...of course, anyone would in his shoes...