Nancy Cooper

Brad Cooper defense rests case

Posted April 29, 2011

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— Attorneys for a Cary man who's been on trial for murder for nearly two months have rested their case after calling two dozen witnesses to testify.

For about three hours Friday morning, jurors reviewed evidence presented over the past two weeks by Brad Cooper's defense team, which has argued that police ignored evidence that didn't support the theory that their client killed his wife nearly three years ago.

Prosecutors say Brad Cooper, 37, strangled Nancy Cooper, 34, in the early hours of July 12, 2008, and dumped her body at a housing construction site 3 miles from their home in Cary's Lochmere neighborhood.

Brad Cooper, who faces life in prison if he is found guilty, says his wife went for a jog and never returned home.

Judge Gessner Cooper defense rests

Much of the defense's case centered on computer evidence and cellphone forensics, as well as witnesses who said they told police they thought they saw Nancy Cooper jogging on the morning of her disappearance.

Jurors were not allowed to hear evidence from forensics expert Giovanni Masucci, who said Thursday that files on the laptop Brad Cooper used at his job as a Cisco Systems engineer were altered after police seized the computer.

Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner ruled Masucci, who was called after the defense's original witness was disqualified as an expert, couldn't testify because prosecutors didn't have time to consult with their experts to prepare for an adequate cross-examination.

Masucci said that files related to a Google Maps search of the site where Nancy Cooper's body was found had invalid timestamps, which was indicative of tampering. The state has said the altered files were the results of automatic computer updates.

Gessner dismissed the jury early Friday to accommodate the needs of one of the jurors, but prosecutors are expected to call additional witnesses next week, before closing arguments, to refute the defense's evidence.

"We've come a long way," Gessner told jurors. "But we still have a long way to go."

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger said that would include Cisco employees to testify about new evidence that Brad Cooper might have had computer equipment that enabled him to make a remote call from his home phone to his cellphone.

The state contends that the Cisco-certified expert in Internet voice technology might have used a specific router to stage the call so that it appeared Nancy Cooper was still alive hours after she had been killed.

Defense attorneys have pointed out that police never seized any evidence that indicates he did.

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  • MikeTysonsPunchOut May 4, 2011

    Brad Cooper knows if he did or did not murder Nancy...and the truth will only come out when, whoever the guilty party is, dies and faces the Lord. Can't hide the truth from Him, no sir!

  • danderson900 May 2, 2011

    The 2nd degree option is bad news for BC. I've been on jury duty before and I know how an intermediate verdict can be used as compromise point for the jury.

  • Serendipity5 May 2, 2011

    Only difference between first degree and second degree murder is premeditation.

    The DA said he planned it and CPD said he snapped in a moment of rage.

    They can't have it both way, on the other hand, nothing like covering all of your bases.
    DontLikeTheSocialistObama

    Did you hear the last part of court today as to why the Judge is going to allow (I believe he said he had to allow) a charge of 2nd degree murder as well as lst?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 2, 2011

    Only difference between first degree and second degree murder is premeditation.

    The DA said he planned it and CPD said he snapped in a moment of rage.

    They can't have it both way, on the other hand, nothing like covering all of your bases.

  • Everyonehasone May 2, 2011

    I watch all of the Dr. Cook trial and I was shocked when he got manslaughter verse second degree or even first degree.
    I think they do have enough to vote second degree on Cooper. But who knows what the jury is thinking.

  • Proud Young Grandma May 2, 2011

    @buford - so the pros. can argue both points in closing? " We think he premeditated this, but in case we are wrong, then he just snapped" kinda like take your choice??? Just wow.

  • buford May 2, 2011

    Ok now with 2nd degree on the table - how does this change things? What would your vote be on 2nd degree?
    Proud Young Grandma

    2nd degree is not pre-meditated..so since the pros can't prove he "planned" it...now the jury can go by the fact that they think he "snapped"...it's annoying...the pros should not be able to have it both ways...they agreed on 1st from the beginning...it's Magoo's call...IMO, there is still not enough evidence for 2nd...hope the jury feels the same...

  • Card Player May 2, 2011

    1) He(BC) had motive. 2)He(BC) had opportunity. Just FYI..I have been watching this trial sense day one. I do hope they find him guilty. But due to lack of physical evidence it wouldn't surprise me for them to come back with....1) Not guilty. 2) Hung jury. Doesn't make him not guilty, only state's that the lack of physical proof couldn't tie him to it. - BCGuilty

    This is all that almost all of us are asking for. I may or may not think he did it. It really doesn't matter. I, for the sake of everyone in Wake County, hope that he is found not guilty because the prosecution did not prove that he did it. It could be you that is tried based on nothing next time.

  • Proud Young Grandma May 2, 2011

    Ok now with 2nd degree on the table - how does this change things? What would your vote be on 2nd degree?

  • buford May 2, 2011

    ya'll - come on over to the new story....

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