Local News

Crews load moving van at Cooper house

Posted November 13, 2008 10:07 a.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2008 5:58 p.m. EST

— A moving van was parked outside the Cary home of a man accused of killing his wife four months ago, but it was unclear whether the house was being sold.

Brad Cooper, 35, is charged with first-degree murder in the July 12 slaying of Nancy Cooper, whose body was found in an undeveloped subdivision approximately three miles from the couple's home in the Lochmere subdivision.

A Marrins' M-o-o-ving crew loaded a 26-foot van with tables, sofas, armchairs and a flat-screen television Thursday man. A man who identified himself as the owner of the moving company said the furnishings were going into storage.

Workers said someone inside the house was directing them what to take and what to leave behind.

Wake County District Judge Debra Sasser issued an order Monday that prohibits Brad Cooper from selling any of his possessions or liquidating any of his assets. A hearing on the temporary restraining order is scheduled for Nov. 21.

Nancy Cooper's parents, Garry and Donna Rentz, have said they believe Brad Cooper has instructed his family on how to dispose of and liquidate his assets and property, including jewelry, artwork, retirement accounts and bank accounts.

The Rentzes' attorney, Alice Stubbs, said Brad Cooper has agreed to turn over his daughters' clothes and toys to his in-laws, who have temporary custody of the Coopers' two girls.

Brad Cooper, who is being held without bond in the Wake County Jail, also can keep the furniture in the home, according to Stubbs. All of the other contents of the house must remain intact until the courts settle the questions of child support and who is entitled to what in Nancy Cooper's estate.

If Brad Cooper were to sell the house, the proceeds would remain in escrow until those questions are decided.

When asked about the moving van, one of Brad Cooper's attorneys, Howard Kurtz, said, "It's not something I'm prepared to talk about right now."

Also Thursday, Capitol Broadcasting Co., the parent of WRAL, and The News & Observer filed a motion in support of unsealing the order granting Nancy Cooper's family temporary custody of her daughters.

Brad Cooper has requested that the order remain sealed, contending details of the agreement could prejudice his pending criminal case.

The media companies argued that court orders are public records and that there are less restrictive ways to ensure Brad Cooper receives a fair trial.