Local News

Brad Cooper's attorneys file for change of venue

Posted August 26, 2010 12:20 p.m. EDT
Updated August 27, 2010 11:41 a.m. EDT

— Attorneys for a Cary man charged with killing his wife more than two years ago asked a judge Thursday for a change of venue, citing extensive media coverage of the case.

Brad Cooper is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2008 death of his wife, Nancy Cooper. His trial is set to begin Oct. 25.

Cooper's attorneys filed a 23-page motion, citing reporting by WRAL News and the Raleigh News & Observer, asserting that their client could not get a fair trial in Wake County.

According to the motion, "extensive pre-trial publicity" might give jurors "preconceived impressions" of the case. Cooper's attorneys called the coverage of his case "inflammatory" and "prejudiced" regarding his potential guilt.

Brad Cooper told investigators that his wife went jogging on the morning of July 12, 2008, and never returned home.

A man walking his dog two days later found the 34-year-old mother-of-two's body in an undeveloped subdivision less than 3 miles from the Coopers’ Lochmere home.

An autopsy determined that she had likely been strangled.

During the criminal investigation, Nancy Cooper's family filed for, and won, custody of the couple's two daughters.

Nancy Cooper's family testified during the civil proceedings that her husband was involved in her slaying. In custody filings, they claimed he was an unfit parent who was mentally unstable and was emotionally abusive to his wife in the months prior to her death.