Nancy Cooper

Cooper detective questioned about wiped cellphone

Posted March 30, 2011

— One of the Cary police detectives assigned to help investigate the 2008 death of Nancy Cooper spent a fifth day on the witness stand Wednesday as defense attorneys tried to discredit the work that led to their client's arrest.

Brad Cooper, 37, is on trial, facing a life sentence in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in the July 12, 2008, death of his wife.

Jim Young Full video: Day 15 trial testimony

Her body was found approximately 3 miles from the couple's Cary home in a drainage ditch. An autopsy found she had been strangled.

Detective Jim Young, who was one of two primary detectives assigned to the case, faced tough questions Wednesday from defense attorney Howard Kurtz about how he handled evidence in the case, specifically Nancy Cooper's password-protected BlackBerry smartphone from which he said he accidentally deleted data while trying to unlock it.

Young said he contacted the cellphone carrier, AT&T, to help him obtain access to Nancy Cooper's call history and a text message she had received on July 12, 2008.

He said he talked to an AT&T representative who told him he would need to go through a sequence of screens before entering a PIN unlock key (PUK) code.

It was more than a week later that he attempted to access the phone data based on what he remembered the instructions to be, Young said.

He was never prompted for the PUK code and, instead, was warned that the phone's data would be wiped from the device.

He proceeded, thinking "the PUK code request screen was forthcoming," he said.

Young said that he never tried to call AT&T to try to recover the data because the information he had sought was already contained in cellphone records.

Howard Kurtz Brad Cooper defense asks tough questions about wiped cellphone

Also discussed at length Wednesday morning were shoes – those of both Brad Cooper and Nancy Cooper.

Young has testified that Brad Cooper told him during an initial interview that Nancy Cooper had an old pair and new pair of running shoes but never mentioned a third pair of shoes that the defense contends she might have worn jogging on the morning of her death.

Investigators were never able to account for the shoes, a pair of women's Saucony 3D Grid Hurricane running shoes purchased from The Athlete's Foot in September 2006.

Police did find two right shoes, Kurtz said, and he questioned Young about whether detectives believed Brad Cooper disposed of two left shoes by accident.

Young said he was never able to determine what happened to the shoes and couldn't determine whether they had been returned – the store didn't track returns – or disposed of.

"I wouldn't classify those shoes as missing," he said.

Young also testified that he never asked Brad Cooper about a pair of shoes that he was wearing in one of two Harris Teeter surveillance videos on the morning of his wife's death.

He made two trips to the store within about 20 minutes and was wearing different shoes on each trip.

By the time he learned about the surveillance video, Young said, investigators could no longer question Brad Cooper, who had hired attorneys.

Defense attorneys have said that Cary police investigators set their sights on Brad Cooper early on in their murder investigation and ignored evidence that could have proved he did not kill his wife.

The state has said that Brad and Nancy Cooper were in the process of separating and that he became financially controlling of her when she wanted to move to Canada with their two children.

Prosecutors have said he allegedly killed her in the early-morning hours of July 12, 2008, shortly after she returned home from a neighborhood party.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • beffie1963 Apr 1, 2011

    One more thing - I am not trying to minimize the loss anyone who loved NC feels; including the lunching ladies. The whole thing is just a huge tragedy.

  • beffie1963 Apr 1, 2011

    All these "friends" of NC are a brood of gossiping biddies who have way too much time on their hands. They attempt to skillfully create & live in a soap opera style world and spend their days being world-class manipulators. My perception of the whole thing is that all BC is guilty of is being a downtrodden and beleagered husband who is now being railroaded by a bunch of lunching ladies. This whole trial is a waste of emotions, time, and money. It just makes me sick for BC and the Cooper children. The Lochmere Bs should be ASHAMED. I don't know how they can sleep at night having added total heartbreaking insult to the devastating grief already inflicted. Oh my God. I could go on and on but I'll give y'all a break and hush. For now.

  • boatbuilder96 Mar 31, 2011

    Moderator...YOU ROCK

  • boatbuilder96 Mar 31, 2011

    WRAL's objectivity is also a casuality of this travesty...what a shame!
    I dare you to publish this Mr./Ms.(censor) Moderator

  • nevergo55mph Mar 31, 2011

    just tunning in..WHO is this on the stand???

  • dogwonder Mar 31, 2011

    "You people do realize ...(blah).... oldrwizr

    "The problem is that there is not shred of evidence. I hope that you're tried and convicted with no evidence one day. Actually, I hope it's today so that we don't have to read these stupid comments any more." Card Player

    Hilarious!! "Actually, I hope it's today" hahahaha!!

  • StevenNC Mar 31, 2011

    BadDayforButch: "I used to go to that gym. These women of Lochmere would be there in the middle of the day working out on various equipment with each other and complaining about their husbands. All the while, the husband would be working trying to support their lifestyles. Really a sight to see."


    I witness the same thing at the Y on Holly Springs Rd. I sometimes go during the day when the stepford wives are there before I get there and are still there when I leave. I swear these women have no shame. Either that or they think I can't hear them just because I have ear buds in.

  • StevenNC Mar 31, 2011

    chauncey7381: "Anyone know which courtroom? I may go down there some next week and after."


    Court room 3C. I'm thinking of doing that myself, but I'll probably do that during the defense's case in chief. The judge would kick me out for rolling my eyes at the stepford gossip, so it's better that I watch it on the feed.

  • rosered857 Mar 31, 2011

    Very well said my2bits. It does appear today that people are great witnesses to events, but just don't want to share with anyone else the real misery they are seeing. Look at all the poor children being abused, killed, etc. I am sick of hearing from "bystanders" oh yeah, I heard them fighting; oh yeah, as her teacher, I saw her everyday and she was bruised, but she said she fell. It goes on and on and on and on (Journey).

  • fromageball Mar 31, 2011

    "Typically Lifetime Cards will have a picture with the card ID, and each member will have a card. If a man swipes with a woman's card, they should inquire about the membership of the man. If he doesn’t have a card, they should ask for his id to verify membership (even on family memberships)."

    Hmm ok, actually now I semi-recall having my picture taken when joining Lifetime. Ah well, rusty as it is, my memory seems to be good enough for this trial ;)