Judge to determine custody of Cooper children

October 16, 2008 7:14:47 PM PDT
There will be no decision Thursday in the custody case involving the family of Nancy Cooper.The hearing is to determine if Brad Cooper should regain custody of his children.

Emergency custody was given to Nancy's parents and sister following her death.

Brad Cooper has not been named a suspect, but he has been the focus of the police investigation.

The attorney for Nancy Cooper's family wasted no time saying, "Brad is not only a suspect, but he is the only suspect.

Nancy's dad, Garry Rentz, told the court Brad "is the only person I can think of with motivation like that and access."

However, when cross examined, he was asked, "you don't have any information that Brad was ever violent in any way toward Nancy" and he answered, "no."

Rentz was also asked, "do the children love their dad?" and he answered, "yes."

However, when Nancy's sister, Krista Lister, took the stand, she was very upfront and said, "I feel that Brad has murdered my sister --and I feel it's extremely inappropriate for the girls to be around him."

Brad Cooper's attorney also called a woman who believes she saw Nancy jogging the morning she went missing, which backs his story.

Also in the courtroom are members of Brad Cooper's family, but they did not testify. Instead Brad's attorney called a psychologist, a friend and neighbor to try to show that he is capable of caring for his daughters.

But his attorneys declined an opportunity to interview the Cary homicide detective investigating Nancy's murder. They say since police were not ordered to turn over their files, they could not effectively examine the investigator.

However, Detective George Daniels was in the Wake County courtroom with members of Nancy Cooper's family.

The hearing was originally supposed to end at 5 p.m., but it ran until 6:30 p.m. The judge says she and will not make a ruling until Friday at the earliest.


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