Nancy Cooper

Jury deliberates in Brad Cooper's murder trial

Posted May 4, 2011

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— Jurors in the trial of Brad Cooper continued Wednesday the task of sifting through eight weeks of evidence to determine whether the Cary man is guilty of murder in his wife's 2008 death.

The 10 women and two men got the case around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, after hours of closing arguments in what has been one of the longest murder trials in Wake County's history. They must weigh whether the evidence points to either a first- or second-degree murder conviction or a not guilty verdict.

Robert Trenkle Full video: Closing arguments

Cooper, 37, has been jailed since October 2008, when he was charged with first-degree murder.

Nancy Cooper, 34, disappeared on July 12, 2008. Her husband said she went out for a jog and never returned. A man walking his dog found her body two days later in a drainage ditch in an unfinished Cary subdivision 3 miles from the couple's Lochmere home.

The Coopers moved to Cary from Alberta, Canada, in 2001 for Brad Cooper to take a job at Cisco Systems in Research Triangle Park. The couple had two daughters, Bella and Katie Cooper, who have been living in Canada with Nancy Cooper's twin sister since their mother's death.

In Tuesday's closing arguments, defense attorneys hammered repeatedly on what they called a lack of hard evidence linking the defendant to his wife's death.

"No blood, no bodily fluids, no fibers," attorney Robert Trenkle said.

Brad Cooper Wait begins for Brad Cooper verdict

Trenkle pointed out several examples where evidence and testimony depended more on inference than science to connect it to the crime. He mentioned tire tracks and footprints found near the victim's body, as well as dirt and straw found inside the Coopers' home.

All were examined, but none directly linked Brad Cooper to the murder scene, Trenkle said.

Prosecutors raised a number of questions about Brad Cooper's actions based on examinations of the couple's computers and phones, including the possibility that the Cisco-certified Voice over Internet Protocol specialist staged a phone call to his cellphone to make it appear that Nancy Cooper was still alive when prosecutors contend she was dead.

Investigators, however, said they never found the computer equipment, including a router, needed to make such a call, although the state argued he had access to it and could have gotten rid of it.

"This case is filled with mighta-beens, coulda-beens and shoulda-beens," Trenkle said.

Prosecutors argued that Brad Cooper planned his wife's death, citing computer files on his Cisco laptop that shows someone viewed a Google Map the day before Nancy Cooper's disappearance of the site where her body was found.

Several of Nancy Cooper's friends testified about trouble in the Cooper marriage, including signs that Brad Cooper has a controlling personality. He put Nancy Cooper, who was unable to obtain a work visa, on a weekly allowance, cut her access to bank and credit cards and monitored her phone calls and email, witnesses testified.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger told the jury that the case was more "about the defendant's actions" than about hard evidence.

"Two little girls will never see their mother again because of that man," he said.

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  • HyeAghcheg May 6, 2011

    HyeAghcheg, It seems for those of us who have thought BC to be guilty that we have continually been put down. We've had to listen to the bashing of Nancy's friends, her neighbors and anyone else who disagreed with some of you (and I am not necessarily pointing you out in this). We heard JA and JP accused of killing Nancy. Did the CPD make mistakes? I'm sure they did. Nonetheless, justice has been served and we aren't necessarily cheering because this is truly a sad day for a lot of people.
    eccgc

    I feel truly sorry for you. You view with your eyes, but you don't see.

  • mtnmama May 5, 2011

    "You do the crime, you do the time. The jury had the evidence, they ruled, he is guilty. END OF STORY."-umom07

    Not always. All the jury had was hearsay & opinion. The judge suppressed THE most important evidence. Concrete evidence which would have shown that evidence was fabricated against Brad Cooper. Why would someone do that? Because they had no proof he was guilty, so they manufactured it, that's why.

  • eccgc May 5, 2011

    ...where have all the flowers gone, long time passing!

  • seankelly15 May 5, 2011

    eccgc - "Nonetheless, justice has been served..."

    No, your blood lust has been served. The issue was not your personal opinion that BC killed NC, the issue was whether there was reasonable doubt that BC killed NC. The jurors took a "more likely than not" approach - appropriate in civil trials... not in criminal trials.

  • Serendipity5 May 5, 2011

    Serendipity5..Thank you and my heart does go out to his family and his children as well.:( P.S. I will change my golo name.
    MidNightMoon

    So, I can assume when I see MidNightMoon, that you BBG! Have a great day, well evening!

  • dollibug May 5, 2011

    Well....this verdict says a lot for our justice system....almost as much as the GRAND JURY indicted Brad Cooper...in AMERICA there does NOT HAVE TO BE EVIDENCE to get
    life in prison....and it is "just because"....a gut feeling...a thought....or because I said so....is all it takes....and people who DO NOT UNDERSTAND the way the law works....that's all...nothing more....

  • HyeAghcheg May 5, 2011

    This is what I feared the most about this trial; a decision made by uneducated jurors. Even though part of the evidence was suppressed, they lacked the technological expertise to comprehend the information they did hear. My head is shaking in wonder over this verdict. How can this happen in 2011?

  • tpraskac May 5, 2011

    Just as I thought GUILTY

  • eccgc May 5, 2011

    Cary, NC is a very scary place to live. For all of you cheering this verdict, I hope you never find yourself in the defendant's chair. This is an utter travesty !!!
    HyeAghcheg

    HyeAghcheg, It seems for those of us who have thought BC to be guilty that we have continually been put down. We've had to listen to the bashing of Nancy's friends, her neighbors and anyone else who disagreed with some of you (and I am not necessarily pointing you out in this). We heard JA and JP accused of killing Nancy. Did the CPD make mistakes? I'm sure they did. Nonetheless, justice has been served and we aren't necessarily cheering because this is truly a sad day for a lot of people.

  • nufsaid May 5, 2011

    "I don't understand why he can't see his daughters. Other people in prison get to visit with their kids. That is an outrage. At least give him that, something to live for.
    trixiepurr"

    It seems that the desire to strip BC from any contact with his beloved girls has played a huge role in this travesty. Or at least for someone else to have total control over the children.

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