Nancy Cooper

Cooper jury not ready to share deliberations

Posted May 6, 2011

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— The foreman of the jury that found Brad Cooper guilty of his wife's 2008 murder said Friday that, after eight weeks together, jurors agreed on two things – the verdict and a plan to keep their discussions about that decision among themselves.

"What went on in that room will stay there for awhile," Robert "Andy" Gilbert said.

Gilbert talked to WRAL News Friday but declined to appear on camera. He said jurors agreed that none of them would give a televised interview at least for a few days.

Gilbert, one of two men and 10 women on the panel, found Cooper guilty of first-degree murder Thursday afternoon. As their decision was read, some of them were moved to tears.

"It was a difficult few days," Gilbert said of the deliberations. "If you saw our faces when we came out, that says a lot."

Prosecutors argued that Brad Cooper strangled his wife, Nancy Cooper, in the early morning hours of July 12, 2008, at their Cary home. Her decomposing body was found in a drainage ditch 3 miles away on July 14, 2008. 

"You can never feel good about a case like this," Gilbert said, "but we did what we were charged to do. We did the job we were given.”

Gilbert said both the sides did their job in presenting the case. 

Brad Cooper's defense team argued that Cary police fixated on their client in an effort to quickly close the case and defend Cary's reputation as a safe community. They characterized police work as being "dishonest" and "inept."

“They did their job, but they need to look in the mirror. There’s a lot they’ll need to reflect on,” Gilbert said of Cary police. 

The trial, the longest non-capital murder case ever in Wake County, wore on jurors. After the 35th day of testimony, one of them sent Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner a note that said, in part, "We want our lives back." Gilbert said he didn't know about the note until Friday.

During the trial, jurors were asked to refrain from discussing the case or reading or watching media reports. Gilbert said he would return home to newspapers with holes in them from where his wife cut out any stories about the case to help him uphold that requirement.

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  • dollibug May 16, 2011

    I, personally, think that the jury members were just sick and tired of being there..they wanted to go home..and this is the decision that they made..without ANY EVIDENCE or PROOF..and I guess no one really explained what 1st degree murder is supposed to be..this DOES NOT match what the "police detective thought"..if Brad Cooper snapped...then he could have NOT planned it...it must be one or the other....but I guess that does not matter either..since the entire trial consisted of nothing but gossip, gut feelings, and thoughts..again.I hope that by now...each and every jury member realizes that they all made a BIG MISTAKE..and this is something that needs to be ADDRESSED...since Brad Cooper was railroaded into prison for life without parole.so very sad..an innocent man convicted...

  • dollibug May 16, 2011

    ++++I think the only way you can prove 100% without a doubt in your own mind is if you actually saw the murder take place. There will always be questions...... I think the jury made the right decision.
    pinkgal47

    Did you actually watch and keep up with the entire "live version" or were you there in the court room?
    And what Evidence did you "see" that the others of us did not.
    just wondering.

    I think it is interesting that the jury found Brad Cooper guilty..I wonder what exactly they based their verdict on....
    google search....we are all in deep trouble now....everyone had better watch out....googling should now be OUTLAWED...

  • beffie1963 May 13, 2011

    Brad Cooper was railroaded, framed, set up and sent to prison along with his complete & total innocence in the murder of his wife. So many lives destroyed. Mr. J.P. needs to be questioned again. He lied to the police. Why lie unless you have something to hide?

  • pinkgal47 May 12, 2011

    I think the only way you can prove 100% without a doubt in your own mind is if you actually saw the murder take place. There will always be questions...... I think the jury made the right decision.

  • buford May 12, 2011

    I wish they would let us know what made them believe 100% with no doubt that he did it...I couldn't live with myself if I knew I convicted an innocent man...I watched every minute of the trial and would never have have convicted him based on what I saw...I too wonder if they have looked at parts of the trial that they were unable to see...and are now doubting themselves...

  • solarflare40 May 11, 2011

    I sure hope the jury has viewed all the evidence that Judge Gessner would not let them see. They should all feel guilty, and be ashamed of their decision. A sane person would have found him innocent on only the "evidence" they were allowed to see! NOTHING the prosecution presented tied Brad Cooper to the murder AT ALL! How could the jury do this to an innocent man????? By-the-way, if you want to murder someone, take them to Cary North Carolina - there is not a chance that Cary Detectives will find any evidence you are guilty; however, they will probably plant evidence. SO, once the murder is complete, just get out of Cary as fast as you can! Don't worry about leaving tire tracks or footprints - they won't even look at them...

  • solarflare40 May 11, 2011

    RE: "I just sent a sincere e-mail to them with my real name and contact information... - nufsaid"

    I did not include my name or contact in yesterday's email, but I just decided that this is important enough to say who I am. I just resent my email with my name and contact information. Please email 48 Hours!!! address: 48hours@cbsnews.com

  • nufsaid May 11, 2011

    "++++In an attempt to gain the nations attention, I email 48 Hours yesterday to ask them to help. Please do the same so we get some justice for Brad Cooper. Their email address is 48hours@cbsnews.com - please email now. The more emails they receive, the more likely they will do something! solarflare40"

    I just sent a sincere e-mail to them with my real name and contact information. This is the first time in my life that I have actually followed all of the court proceedings in a murder trial. And I saw for myself how the media coverage did not seem to match what I was seeing for myself. I do not blame anyone that has depended on media coverage for believing that BC is guilty. This whole episode has chilled me to the core. My perception of the relationship between LE (mostly management), the prosecutors office, the media, and local politics has changed dramatically. I have been left with a sick feeling.

  • solarflare40 May 11, 2011

    RE: "Does anyone really think that the jury members will EVER SPEAK to public...."

    Not if they are smart...oh wait, their verdict proves they aren't! It would be a bad idea for them to speak to the public. There are A LOT of people disgusted with their decision. I agree 100% dollibug, they should be ashamed. How can they sleep at night with what they have done???

  • dollibug May 11, 2011

    Does anyone really think that the jury members will EVER SPEAK to public....I seriously DOUBT it....as I would be quite ASHAMED....I am sure that they have read all of the "things which went on during the courtroom that they had NOTHING to do with"....they were co-erced into thinking that what they heard was the "WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH".....but come to find out....It was NOT EVEN CLOSE...so very sad...and they say that court is "fair and just"....not so...and this PROVES it...

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