State will appeal new trial for Brad Cooper

Brad Cooper appears in a Wake County courtroom
September 10, 2013 9:36:18 AM PDT
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's office said Tuesday it will ask the North Carolina Supreme Court for a ruling on a new trial for Brad Cooper.

Earlier this month, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Cooper, who was convicted in the 2008 strangulation death of his wife Nancy in Cary. Cooper was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for first-degree murder.

Nancy Cooper, 34, disappeared on July 12, 2008. Brad told police said she went out for a jog and never returned. Her body -- clad only in a sports bra -- was later found in a drainage ditch at the end of a cul-de-sac at an unfinished subdivision less than three miles from the couple's home.

During his trial, prosecutors said Brad killed Nancy because he was angry she planned to divorce him and move with their two daughters to Canada.

Witnesses testified the couple argued at a party the night before she disappeared and that both had each had affairs outside their marriage.

A jury later found Brad Cooper guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Last year, Cooper's defense lawyers filed an appeal, stating that Cooper, who has been in jail since October 2008 when he was arrested for his wife's murder, was innocent.

Cooper's lawyer, Ann Petersen, claimed the trial judge wrongly denied two witnesses who would have testified someone could have remotely tampered with Cooper's computer. Cooper's lawyers also said someone planted a map onto the Canadian native's computer showing where Nancy's body was found.

The North Carolina Appeals Court found the trial judge should have allowed computer experts to testify for the defense.

The Coopers moved from Alberta, Canada, to Cary in 2001 so Brad Cooper could take a technology-related job at a Research Triangle Park firm.

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