Nancy Cooper

Nancy Cooper hid documents from husband, friend says

Posted April 5, 2011

— Nancy Cooper told a friend that she slept in her jeans with her keys in her pocket in the few months preceding her death, a friend said Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of her husband, Brad Cooper.

"She just said that maybe some day she would have to get out fast," Theresa Hackeling testified.

Brad Cooper trial testimony (Day 19, pt 5) Full video: Day 19 trial testimony

She also kept important documents locked in her car, including her and her children's passports, paperwork from lawyers, her wallet and phone as she sought a separation from her husband.

Brad Cooper, 37, is accused of killing his 34-year-old wife and dumping her body in an undeveloped subdivision 3 miles from the Coopers' Cary home. He contends that she went jogging that morning and never returned home.

During cross-examination, Hackeling said she did not know that Nancy Cooper had a tendency to exaggerate, and that she had no reason not to believe her friend.

Witnesses, including Hackeling, have testified that the couple's marriage had been troubled because of finances and Brad Cooper's admission to an affair with a friend of Nancy Cooper's.

Hackeling said that Nancy Cooper told her that, initially, Brad Cooper repeatedly denied the affair and that the other woman was making up the story.

"I think, because he denied it, she wasn't sure if it really happened," Hackeling said. "I think, at first, she wanted to try to make it work."

Nancy Cooper said Brad Cooper admitted to the affair during a marriage counseling session in early 2008, Hackeling added.

"When she did find out, it kind of gave her peace, knowing she couldn't make the marriage work," she said.

Nancy Cooper's twin sister, Krista Lister, testified Monday that Brad Cooper had been so insistent that the affair did not happen that Nancy Cooper, at one point, had started trying to forgive herself for thinking it happened.

"Nan always thought she married the safe guy, the guy that wouldn't cheat on her, and (would be her) best friend and just wouldn't hurt her," Lister said. "She was devastated."

During cross-examination, defense attorneys questioned Lister about Nancy Cooper's relationships with other men. Lister testified that her sister admitted that she had met a man on a trip to Florida early in her marriage in 2001 but that Lister never knew of an alleged affair that Nancy Cooper had in 2005.

Jenipher Free and Shirley Hull, parents with children attending Triangle Academy Preschool, where the Coopers' oldest daughter attended, also took the witness stand Tuesday.

Each had similar accounts of hearing and seeing Nancy and Brad Cooper arguing outside the school in May 2008, and each said Brad Cooper used foul language at his wife in front of their children.

Coopers fought outside daughter's preschool  Coopers fought outside daughter's preschool

"I heard Nancy yelling (at Brad) to give her the kids and saw Brad blocking the car, not letting her get to the kids," Free testified.

Their accounts also differed some, but neither said they heard Brad Cooper threaten his wife or touch her.

The last witness to testify Tuesday was Chris Frye, a security investigator for Cisco Systems Inc., where Brad Cooper worked as an engineer specializing in Voice over Internet Protocol, a method of transmitting sound as data over the Internet.

Fry told jurors that Brad Cooper had set up a special phone number assigned to  Cisco's Paris office that forwarded any phone callsto that number to his office in Research Triangle Park. He also testified that Brad Cooper and he had an online chat about software for encrypting data on computers and also about software used for wiping, or deleting, information from drives.


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  • superman Apr 6, 2011

    So she thought it was safe to lock her papers etc in the car. How funny! My wife and I are happily married for over 30 years. She keeps her car locked. I have a key to her car and there is an extra spare hanging in the kitchen. She has a key to my car and truck and there are extra keys on the key rack. She must never have thought that it is easy to have a key made or that the dealer always gives two keys for a car. It is simple to ask the dealer to make a 3rd or even a 4th key-- if you willing to pay for it. The car is not a safe secure place to hide things from your spouse. A locked car would be the first place I would look for things.

  • Objective Scientist Apr 6, 2011

    Several years ago... my wife and I were moving toward separation and divorce. No children involved, financial/property issues were quite simple - straight-forward. In no way was our situation/acrimony even in the same universe as NC and BC. Nevertheless, she presented me with a separation agreement. We were sitting at the "kitchen table" as I read it. Although fairly quickly I came to some things that would likely have triggered a negative outburst from many, I waited until reading the entire document... then, exercising great self-control to keep from laughing, simply stated "I will NOT sign this in present form", after which I went through and simply stated "this part has to go", "this part must be modified this way",etc., etc. The "initial draft" had some things in it that patently ABSURD!!! But I did not respond with "hysterics"... I simply said "NO" on the grounds of it containing elements that "made no sense - were not fair". She could defend none of those, they were removed!

  • chioccamatt Apr 6, 2011

    I'm guessing the lawyer had no clue to the amount of debt NC had racked up.

    Like all of NC's friends, she was probably told that Brad was a cheating, distant husband who controlled her and didn't help out much with the kids. I'm sure NC said that she came down to Cary with BC for HIS job, knowing that she wouldn't be able to make money, and that she deserves a lot of his money now for that "sacrifice."

    I also agree that this separation agreement was ridiculously one sided.

  • bgcoving Apr 6, 2011

    Phone calls to the lawyer would turn up on the billable hours from the lawyer...If you have a lawyer, there ain't no free....

  • cdhrtp Apr 6, 2011

    Alice Stubbs doesn't think Brad was happy with that first draft. Really?? Who would be?

    Absolutely ridiculous. Why would she think this could be resolved when she/Nancy came out asking for the world instead of anything close to reasonable?

  • itsmyownopinion Apr 6, 2011

    New story:

  • thisgirl.26 Apr 6, 2011

    I love that NC made a comment that Brad is now becoming a "perfect Dad" after hearing advice from his attorney. I wonder what their divorce court judge would have thought about her "Nancy days" aka every Saturday and Sunday. Or her leaving the house every night to drink wine and complain about her marriage as soon as Brad got home from work.

    This case is no longer about proving BC killed NC through hard evidence, its about proving who is a liar and who isn't. I'd rather tune into 'Gossip Girl' every week then continue to see this junk.

  • whateveryousay Apr 6, 2011

    7500 retainer, 1000 not refundable, 275 an hour.
    That's 23.636 hours (6500). Just for the separation agreement.

    More if it went to court for suit....!

  • DangYankee Apr 6, 2011

    @nufsaid: Yes, she does. Enough to buy an $850K 4400+ sq ft home in November.

  • buford Apr 6, 2011

    can you guys hurry up and get to the new story..i don't know anyone over there...