Local News

Brad Cooper wants slain wife's friends to back up their claims

Posted September 11, 2008 1:53 p.m. EDT
Updated September 12, 2008 9:23 a.m. EDT

— The husband of a slain Cary mother wants her friends to turn over any evidence they have to back up their claims that he was emotionally abusive and controlling in the months prior to her death.

Brad Cooper's attorneys have subpoenaed more than a dozen of Nancy Cooper's friends and acquaintances to hand over e-mails, text messages, letters, telephone records and other correspondence and evidence to prove statements they made in affidavits on behalf of Nancy Cooper's parents and twin sister, who are seeking custody of the couple's two young daughters.

In July, a judge granted emergency custody to Nancy Cooper's family after they filed a petition claiming Brad Cooper is an unfit father. Nancy Cooper's friends charged that Brad Cooper was an absent father who is also mentally unstable, withheld money from his wife and had up to four extramarital affairs.

Attorneys are also asking for any evidence related to the Coopers' marriage, including whether Nancy Cooper had a sexual or romantic relationship with anyone other than her husband.

Cary police have released little information about Nancy Cooper's slaying, but they say it was not random violence.

According to court documents filed in July, Nancy Cooper's friend, Jessica Adam, reported her missing July 12 after she failed to show up to help Adam paint her house. Brad Cooper told authorities his wife went jogging and never returned.

Two days later, a man walking his dog found her body, wearing little clothing, in an undeveloped subdivision outside Cary's town limit – less than three miles from the Coopers' home.

In the latest court filings, Brad Cooper also asks Adam to turn over any evidence that prompted her to call police to report his wife missing as well as any evidence that caused her to make statements to a 911 operator that Brad Cooper might have harmed his wife.

Cary police have not called Brad Cooper a suspect in his wife's death, and his attorneys have repeatedly said he has been cooperative with investigators in all aspects of the case.

In addition to seeking evidence about the Coopers, the subpoenas ask Adam and her husband to provide evidence of extramarital affairs in their own marriage.

Adam had no comment Thursday afternoon, but her lawyer filed motions on her behalf and on the behalf of other friends of Nancy Coopers objecting to the subpoenas, saying the requests are irrelevant, unreasonable, oppressive and create "an undue burden."

Alice Stubbs, an attorney representing Nancy Cooper's family in the custody case, also declined to comment.

Brad Cooper's attorney, Howard Kurtz, said the subpoenas are asking valid questions in good faith.

"We are not on a fishing expedition," Kurtz said. "It's very important information, and certainly, these are things we need to flesh out."

Kurtz would not say why he wants information regarding any extramarital affairs in the Adams' marriage, but said: "I think that is a very valid question that I fully expect will be made clearer somewhere down the road."

Brad Cooper and his wife's family reached a temporary custody arrangement that keeps the two children with Nancy Cooper's family until next month. A hearing on the matter is scheduled the week of Oct. 13.

The family wants Brad Cooper to undergo a mental evaluation before then. A hearing to determine that is scheduled for the week of Sept. 29.