Nancy Cooper

Cooper defense attorney asks for mistrial

Posted April 19, 2011
Updated April 20, 2011

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— One of the attorneys representing Brad Cooper in his first-degree murder trial for the death of wife, Nancy Cooper, asked for a mistrial Tuesday, accusing the judge of being "clearly biased."

Howard Kurtz also asked that Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner recuse himself from the case.

"I believe that your rulings have been consistently outside the bounds of prudent jurisprudence," Kurtz said.

Gessner noted the objections and denied both motions.

Jay Ward Full video: Day 29 trial testimony

The courtroom explosion, on the first day of the defense's case, followed another ruling Tuesday by Gessner that the defense's computer expert, James Ward, is not qualified to testify about computer forensics.

That ruling came after nearly two hours of witness examination outside the presence of the jury.

Gessner, however, did rule that Ward could be tendered as an expert in network security and vulnerability assessment.

Brad Cooper, 37, is accused of killing his wife in the early-morning hours of July 12, 2008, and dumping her body in an undeveloped subdivision 3 miles from their Cary home.

Defense attorneys have said that Nancy Cooper went jogging that morning and never returned home.

Cary police singled out Brad Cooper, defense attorneys have said, early in the investigation, because they were concerned about the town's reputation for being a safe community.

The police work, they have said, was inept and dishonest. Evidence that could have helped clear Brad Cooper was ignored, and his work laptop was tampered with while in police custody.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ward showed jurors how to hack a computer network similar to what was in Brad Cooper's home.

"From a security standpoint, how effective is it to keep someone out?" Kurtz asked.

"It's like trying to keep someone out of your house using a screen door," Ward replied.

Ward also testified that Brad Cooper's employer, Cisco Systems Inc., deleted data, such as email, contacts and calendar items, on Brad Cooper's work cellphone, on Oct. 29, 2008.

That was two days after Brad Cooper was charged in his wife's death.

Ward said "deprovisioning" devices, like Cooper's Samsung Blackjack smartphone, isn't an uncommon security measure for companies to take.


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  • HyeAghcheg Apr 20, 2011

    As far as a not guilty verdict and the investigation of who did commit this awful crime, I would start with JA if I were Cary. I still say she knows more than she is letting on.
    anti-Mako II

    I agree, a new investigation needs to begin with JA.

    1) Her alleged plans to paint with NC appear bogus.
    2) Contacting the police a couple of hours after NC was late did not appear logical.
    3) The Coopers had no prior history of physical violence in their marriage
    4) There was no indication that NC feared for her own safety or that of her children
    5) JA pointing the finger of guilt in BC's direction immediately was equivalent to screaming fire in a movie theater.
    6) Given NC's past history of preferred "leisure activities", why would anyone get worried after a few hours? If I was BC, I'd wonder if she was with a beau or at the mall.

  • bluered5858 Apr 20, 2011

    the lead detectiive in this case blew it from day one,he does not sound like he is qualified to be lead detective his testimony makes him look bad to the jury,and the judge is obviously bias against the defense he has sustained 95% of the prosecutors objections.

  • nevergo55mph Apr 20, 2011

    Kudos to Mr. Kurtz and Mr. Ward !!!!!!!

  • got2bsaid Apr 20, 2011

    Go JR!!

  • Intrepid Apr 20, 2011

    The lesson here is that if you don't want the world to know or to misuse information don't put it on the internet...especially facebook.

  • FTimePlayer Apr 20, 2011

    I find it rediculous that the DA and Judge, who are computer illiterate. It takes gaul for the DA to object to a question that he knows nothing about. and furthermore, for the judge to rule either way.

  • Mr William Apr 20, 2011

    Judges and Detectives need social networking training.

  • Mr William Apr 20, 2011

    Read all about JW:

  • BostonCollegeMom Apr 20, 2011

    Okay Junior is really grasping with this. He should be questioning the actual testimony.

  • ArmyWife456 Apr 20, 2011

    Isn't the Special Agent sitting in between HP and some other guy in front of the Rentz family? Why and please explain why he is blacked out if he can be seen on the feed? Just curious.