Nancy Cooper

Brad Cooper thought affair would ruin family

Posted April 8, 2011

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— Brad Cooper said he denied an affair with a friend of his slain wife for about a year because he thought it would ruin his family.

"I thought that, by denying it, it would go away, and we could remain as a whole family. That was my reason for denying it," he said in a deposition that jurors watched Friday morning in his first-degree murder trial.

Brad Cooper deposition Full video: Day 22 trial testimony

Prosecutors say he strangled his wife sometime in the early-morning hours of July 12, 2008, and dumped her body at a construction site 3 miles from their Cary home.

Defense attorneys have said that she went jogging that morning and never returned home. Cary police, they have said, ignored evidence that could have proved their client's innocence.

The Oct. 2, 2008, videotaped deposition, taken before Brad Cooper was arrested in the case, was part of a child custody fight between him and Nancy Cooper's family.

His affair with a woman named Heather Metour was one of two troubles in the Cooper marriage, witnesses have testified. The other was finances.

In his deposition, Brad Cooper said his wife spent more money than they could afford, and he put her on a weekly cash allowance for them "to spend within our means."

"We had to be financially responsible," he said. "As best as I could, I tried to – when possible – I tried to indulge her requests. And when impossible, we had to say no, we couldn't afford something."

Nancy Cooper was angry, he said, that they didn't have more money to spend.

"She referred to me as the Budget Nazi," he said. "It made me feel that it was an unfortunate situation that our monthly bills were high enough that we didn't have more spare cash to spend and allocate to enjoyment – expenditures that would bring more enjoyment to ourselves and the kids."

Prosecutors contend that Brad Cooper became financially controlling after his wife wanted to take the couple's two children and move back home to Canada to be closer to her family.

Nancy Cooper's father, Garry Rentz, testified Thursday that his daughter told him that her husband cut her off from their credit cards and removed her name from their bank accounts.

He also hid the children's passports, Rentz said. That effectively canceled the move, other witnesses have said, because Nancy Cooper wasn't leaving without her children.

Because she was a Canadian citizen without a U.S. work visa, she couldn't work. Getting money to her, Rentz said, was difficult, because she did not have a Social Security number to open a bank account.

Rentz testified that the clearest declaration Nancy Cooper made to him about her desire to leave was on the beach in Hilton Head, S.C., two weeks before she was killed.

"'Dad, I'm through. I need to get out of this situation,'" Rentz recalled his daughter telling him. "'It's not great for the kids, and it's certainly not great for me.'"

Brad Cooper said in the deposition that Nancy Cooper had been a supportive and "very loving" wife and mother. It had been her decision that the marriage was over.

"I would say we had our ups and downs," he said of the marriage.

During the seven months before Nancy Cooper's death, "I would say that our marriage was more on the down side of things," he said.

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  • kitkat_ral Apr 8, 2011

    The point being...NC staying with BC had nothing to do with the children and everything to do with NC positioning herself for a max divorce settlement complete with child support and for life alimony. affirmativediversity

    I agree. Passports made a nice story for the friends and neighbors, and it certainly would be more convenient to fly than drive...but if I felt in danger or thought my kids were in danger I'd CRAWL to Canada

  • affirmativediversity Apr 8, 2011

    So, I think the prosecution is making Way too BIG a Deal out of the passports, or am I missing something here? per kitkat_ral

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    You're missing that the children are both US citizens and would have been travelling with just one parent. Also, that parent intended for the children (again US citizens) to take up permanent residence in Canada. They would have required passports.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 8, 2011

    that could have included and emergency custody hearing (like the one Kristamom got after....(sorry the rest of my answer was as followed)

    at any emergency custody hearing NC could have asked for immediate temporary but full custody of the children AND if the circumstances were compelling enough the court would have permitted NC to take the children back to Canada AND could have further order BC to surrender the passports or authorize NC to apply for replacement passports without need of BC's permission.

    The point being...NC staying with BC had nothing to do with the children and everything to do with NC positioning herself for a max divorce settlement complete with child support and for life alimony.

  • kitkat_ral Apr 8, 2011

    http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1200693579776.shtm
    Read the Western Hemisphere Travel Initative
    If I'm reading this right, in July 2008 passports were only required for AIR travel. You could DRIVE across the border with just kids' birth certificates. The final phase, requiring passports for land/sea crossing from US to Canada didn't go into effect until June 2009.

    So, I think the prosecution is making Way too BIG a Deal out of the passports, or am I missing something here?

  • eccgc Apr 8, 2011

    Who killed Nancy?

  • Proud Young Grandma Apr 8, 2011

    @happymom - I am not Brad's friend - as I don't know him. And I don't know if he lived next to me if we would be friends,but nothing has been presented so far that would make be automatically hate him. But I can tell you that I more than likely would not have liked Nancy. Nothing about her personality appeals to me and would make me want to hang out with her.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 8, 2011

    A man (OR woman) has an affair, feels "bad" and "guilty" about it, truly wants to remain married and with an intact family... so he/she lies and says it "never happened". How many time do you think that has happened, does happen in this country EVERY day? I don' think BC is any different than MANY for this circumstance. Personally, I fail to see how him denying the affair has any import with regard to his guilt or innocence. Per Objective Scientist
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    Not only that but I don't believe we've heard any evidence that BC knew of NC's extra marital affairs until after her death...in which case NC did the exact same thing on more than one occasion.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 8, 2011

    @affirmativediversity-- maybe you can answer this, would it not be Illegal for one parent to take kids and flee country or state w/kids?...hence, no need to keep passports from other parent ?..thinking NC may have been informed of this by Ms.Stubby? per WesternNC
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    I'm sure Ms. Stubbs would have informed NC that if she took the children and fleed back to Canada that BC could then walk into any court in the USA and demmand FULL custody of his children and their immediate return from Canada...and the Canadian gov't would have obliged (USA/Canada have reciprocate agreements regarding this).

    However, IF NC felt that either she or her children were in danger of harm AND most especially if Ms. Stubbs had felt in anyway that NC or her children were in harms way...then Ms. Stubbs had AN OBLIGATION to provide assistance to her client and the children to have them removed from imminent danger...that could have included and emergency custody hearing (like the one Kristamom got after

  • ebeamer7472 Apr 8, 2011

    I don't know BC, never met him. In fact, I don't know any of the parties involved in this case. I am not trying to launch a grass roots PR campaign for him. I am trying to honestly share my thoughts with fellow commentors regarding his trial.

  • groundsmngr Apr 8, 2011

    Well, I guess I must have killed a lot of people in my lifetime! I always wore light colored long sleeve shirts in the summer for over 25 years, no matter how hot it was.
    AND WHEN MY FATHER DIED 15 YEARS AGO, I SAW A SHRINK FOR 9 MONTHS.

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