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Judge has questions about Cooper's statements

Posted September 7, 2010

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— A judge on Tuesday wanted to know if statements submitted to police by the attorneys for Brad Cooper, a Cary man accused of killing his wife more than two years ago, actually came from Cooper.

Cooper has told investigators that his wife, Nancy Cooper, went jogging on the morning of July 12, 2008, and never returned home.

A man walking his dog two days later found the body of the 34-year-old mother-of-two in an undeveloped subdivision less than 3 miles from the Coopers’ Lochmere home.

An autopsy determined that she had likely been strangled.

Brad Cooper was arrested in October 2008 and charged with first-degree murder.

On Tuesday, Brad Cooper told Judge Paul Gessner that the statements, submitted to police before his arrest, were made by him.

Another issue discussed were e-mails exchanged between Brad Cooper and his attorneys. His attorney argued that they the e-mails, which are located on a computer purchased after police searched Cooper's home, are privileged communication, but prosecutors say some of the e-mails might be evidence.

Gessner has assigned a third party to look over the e-mails. No decision was made on whether the e-mails should be turned over to the prosecution for discovery before Brad Cooper's Oct. 25 trial.

On Friday, Brad Cooper's attorneys will be back in court as they argue a motion for a change of trial venue.

The attorneys contend that local news reports, specifically those of WRAL News and The News & Observer, could keep their client from getting a fair trial in Wake County.

According to the motion, "extensive pre-trial publicity" might give jurors "preconceived impressions" of the case. Cooper's attorneys called the coverage of his case "inflammatory" and "prejudiced" regarding his potential guilt.

As police investigated Nancy Cooper's homicide in 2008, her family successfully fought a public battle for custody of the couple's two daughters. It included testimony from family and friends who asserted their beliefs that Brad Cooper killed his wife and claims that he had been emotionally abusive to her in the weeks before her death.

22 Comments

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  • In Decisive Sep 8, 2010

    You haven't 'seen' evidence of his guilt because neither the police nor the DA have released any details of what they have in the case. You will not find out what the evidence is until the prosecution presents the evidence at trial. Based on how many of these cases go, during the trial you will likely see evidence of one or more of the following: forensic evidence linking the perp to the crime (& crime scene), timeline evidence, evidence of motive, etc. Whether or not you believe there is enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt remains to be seen, but no one can make a determination before seeing what the evidence is in this case. One thing is certain though--the DA's office fully believes they have enough evidence to prove Cooper's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We will soon see for ourselves.

  • pebbles262004 Sep 8, 2010

    He has not been found guilty yet...that remains to be seen

  • shortcake53 Sep 7, 2010

    My comment stands, and any mature adult knows how to take it.

  • itsmyownopinion Sep 7, 2010

    "...Your comment about being on the roof of the jail was just plain stupid."

    Really? You're the one who said you would be screaming from the rooftops, were you not? He is in jail, isn't he?

  • shortcake53 Sep 7, 2010

    IMO, he has had ample opportunities to establish his innocence long before he was arrested. IF he was innocent he could have proven it before now, obviously he cant. Your comment about being on the roof of the jail was just plain stupid.

  • itsmyownopinion Sep 7, 2010

    "...there are people who do not know what is going on around them and could care less and/or those who simply are not attracted to this type of news. There are twelve people like this in Wake County. It will not be necessary to move the trial to find these people. In a county the size of Wake, a jury can be seated that will give Mr. Cooper a fair trial, regardless of what the media has said beforehand."

    No doubt 12 such people exist, but finding them may not be as easy as you make it sound, as only so many jury duty notices are sent out.

  • itsmyownopinion Sep 7, 2010

    "... I would be proving any way I could that I had nothing to do with it, and screaming it from the rooftops."

    Is he allowed on the roof of the Wake County jail? An outburst in court at his preliminary hearings will not impress a judge, and I don't think he's going for an insanity defense. You can try that if you're ever in his shoes if you like.

  • mountainlover Sep 7, 2010

    A change of trial venue is not going to give anyone the advantage that it once did. I do not live in North Carolina and I know about this case and the Jason Young case; both have received national publicity. If someone is interested in crime stories and checks the news, he/she will find stories of this nature. On the other side of the coin, there are people who do not know what is going on around them and could care less and/or those who simply are not attracted to this type of news. There are twelve people like this in Wake County. It will not be necessary to move the trial to find these people. In a county the size of Wake, a jury can be seated that will give Mr. Cooper a fair trial, regardless of what the media has said beforehand.

  • shortcake53 Sep 7, 2010

    I'm so tired of suspects claiming they wont get a "fair trial". What was fair about what was done to Nancy??? As far as what he had to gain, I'm sure in his twisted little mind, he would never be caught, he would keep his girls,the house, find a new girlfriend, and all would be rosy. Creeps like this have egos that do not allow for any other turnout, they think they have it all figured out. He has never made any comment that would even come close to showing his innocence. If I were in his shoes, I would be proving any way I could that I had nothing to do with it, and screaming it from the rooftops.

  • hp277 Sep 7, 2010

    He is innocent until proven guilty. It is incredible that the prosecution would be seeking priviledged communications betweeen Cooper and his attorney - that sure makes the prosecution's case sound weak if they are willing to try that.

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