Nancy Cooper

Closing arguments Tuesday in Brad Cooper trial

Posted May 2, 2011
Updated May 3, 2011

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— After eight weeks of testimony, prosecutors and defense attorneys will present closing arguments Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of Brad Cooper, a Cary man accused of killing his wife, Nancy Cooper, nearly three years ago.

Superior Court Paul Gessner ruled Monday afternoon that he will limit closing arguments for each side to two hours, with defense attorneys going first.

Citing legal precedent, Gessner also said he will allow jurors to consider a second-degree murder conviction, in addition to the first-degree charge, as potential verdicts.

Greg Miglucci Full video: Day 36 trial testimony

Testimony concluded Monday morning with prosecutors calling their last five witnesses to refute testimony from the defense.

Greg Miglucci, a field trial engineer who worked with Brad Cooper at Cisco Systems in 2008, testified that the defendant borrowed from his department a Cisco 3825S router in January 2008 and that he has never been able to find the device.

Cary police investigators have theorized that Brad Cooper, an engineer in Voice over Internet Protocol, had the expertise and ability to use the router to stage a remote call from his home phone to his cellphone so that it appeared that Nancy Cooper, 34, was alive on the morning that she disappeared.

Prosecutors have argued that she was killed hours earlier on July 12, 2008, after she returned home from a neighborhood party and that Brad Cooper dumped her body at a housing construction site 3 miles from the couple's home. An autopsy found she had likely been strangled.

The phone call in question was made around 6:40 a.m. prior to when, defense attorneys say, Nancy Cooper left for a jog. According to phone records, Brad Cooper received the call while he was on his way to a Harris Teeter to buy laundry detergent.

Investigators never recovered any computer equipment from the Cooper home that would have enabled him to make the call. The state has implied that he might have gotten rid of the router.

Defense attorneys have called Cary police work "inept" and "dishonest," saying investigators were concerned about the town's reputation for being a safe community and that they ignored evidence and witnesses that didn't support their theory that Brad Cooper killed his wife.

One of those witnesses, Rosemary Zednick, testified for the defense that she felt investigators weren't listening to her when she tried to tell them that she spoke to a female jogger on the morning of July 12, 2008, whom she was confident was Nancy Cooper.

Three Cary police officers testified Monday that they each spoke to Zednick on separate occasions in July 2008 and that her story differed each time.

Larry Arellano said Zednick told him on July 16, 2008, that the jogger might have been listening to an iPod and that she wasn't sure if the woman was Nancy Cooper.

Detective Michelle Savage said that Zednick told her on July 26, 2008, that the jogger was listening to an iPod and that she was sure the woman was Nancy Cooper – or someone who looked familiar.

Zednick also told Savage and officer Michael Lindley on July 24, 2008, that she thought Nancy Cooper was struck by a car and that the driver got nervous and took the body and dumped it.

Witnesses familiar with Nancy Cooper's jogging routine have testified that, to their knowledge, she never ran with an iPod.

The Coopers moved from Canada to Cary in 2001, family and friends have testified. The couple's marriage faced troubles in the last year or so of Nancy Cooper's life, over an admitted affair by Brad Cooper and financial issues.

Nancy Cooper was wanting to divorce her husband and move back to Canada with their two young daughters, they have testified.

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  • ira3 May 4, 2011

    Two issues with this story, first, what part of Canada is the missus from? Canada's a pretty big country, almost as big as Texas, so just saying "Canada" gives a pretty wide area. Secondly, sounds like they ought to be looking for that iPod as much as snoopin' about for a "lost" router.

  • cdhrtp May 3, 2011

    I wish people would remember that Brad cleaned the house while Nancy was on vacation in Hilton Head.

    I wish people would remember that we don't know how often Brad did/did not clean or do laundry. All we have are assumptions and what Nancy's friends say that Nancy told them.

    Clue bus: People in unhappy marriages tend to exaggerate their spouse's faults.

  • luuuuuuuvdogs May 3, 2011

    So, since the majority here seem to believe that BC is NG, I guess things like the dumping ground being researched on the computer was a fix by the CPD, the internet research of strangulation was a fix by the CPD, BC cleaning the house for the first time in years is a coincidence, BC cleaning his trunk because he spilled gas (but no gas smell) is a coincidence, BC doing laundry for the first time maybe ever - and washing his wife's dress in the meantime - is a coincidence, and cleaning out the garage to bring in one of the cars is a coincidence. I also guess that not being emotional that your wife was just killed is just the way some people are, not asking how she was killed is just being so much in shock that he didn't think to ask, not looking anyone in the eye because um, well, I have no idea. I know it's all circumstantial and because of that BC will most likely go free. But someday I would love to know the reasons behind the timely cleaning, and see proof that the CPD set him up

  • bradsher98 May 3, 2011

    I have watched part of both sides closing arguments, the defense did a good job. The prosecution talked mainly about computers and phones. That proves nothing. Al;so, I think this judge is very incompetant. Not letting the defense expert witness testifywas really bad.

  • smcallah May 3, 2011

    "She's the court reporter. Instead of that funny button machine where they type code in to record testimony and other stuff for the record, they now read it into a recorder and type it up later. The cup is so that nobody else can hear."

    Is that really what she is doing? I'm not sure that makes much sense, but if you say so.

    How does she listen and talk at the same time and able to repeat everything she hears?

    Wouldn't it just be easier to record what everyone is saying, and then type that up later, instead of saying it yourself, while having to listen, and then typing that up?

    Seems like a very odd process if that is what she is doing.

  • dollibug May 3, 2011

    The DUCKS SLAMMED THIS CASE....yes...I think this is the SMOKING GUN for the defense....I am so glad that the defense brought out the DUCKS...

  • dollibug May 3, 2011

    What an awesome closing for the Brad Cooper Murder Trial....I give them an A++....I think it was great...and I am thankful that the jury members heard the DEFENSE CLOSING first....as I think they made a lasting impression....so we will just see how this "circus" ends.....Brad Cooper is NOT GUILTY....as there
    is a LOT OF REASONABLE DOUBT.....and this is the only verdict that can surface....

  • lynne0312 May 3, 2011

    Defense did a PERFECT job. BC is innocent and they demonstrated that.

  • nothing surprising May 3, 2011

    "you made our witness's look like liars"

    No, they did that themselves

    hahaha love it

  • buford May 3, 2011

    Trenkle just nailed the BAC argument, and the prosecutors are baked....- bgcoving

    had to take a 10 minute phone call...can you tell me why..I missed it..thanks...

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