Local News

Brad Cooper seeks more evidence from state

Posted March 22, 2010 7:02 p.m. EDT
Updated March 22, 2010 7:05 p.m. EDT

— Attorneys for a Cary man charged with killing his wife nearly two years ago told a judge Monday that they need more discovery evidence from the state to prepare for their client's murder trial.

"We're simply asking for exactly what case law says and statutory law says we are entitled to," attorney Howard Kurtz said on behalf of his client, Brad Cooper.

Cooper, 36, is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2008 death of his wife, Nancy Cooper. His trial is set to begin Oct. 25.

Kurtz and attorney Robert Trenkle filed two motions last month dealing with items taken during July 2008 and October 2008 searches of Cooper's home.

Among those items were e-mails on a computer and a flash drive that Cooper's attorneys argue fall under attorney-client privilege and cannot be used as evidence at trial.

Because of the volume of material, Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner appointed a judge to review the e-mails and decide what can be introduced at trial.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings said he does not know what is on the computer and flash drive because he has not seen it.

In a third motion filed last month, the defense is also asking the state to turn over other evidence – everything from scientific evidence about Nancy Cooper's body decomposition to cell phone and dental records.

The motion also implies that Nancy Cooper had multiple extramarital affairs and that, at one point, Cary police investigated whether she might have looked for relationships with men online.

"They believed that there was the possibility that this was Nancy Cooper reaching out for relationships," Kurtz said.

Those close to Nancy Cooper say the allegations about the affairs are simply muckraking designed to damage her reputation and to create distractions in the case.

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.