Brad Cooper gets a public defender


Tuesday afternoon when Cooper made his first court appearance on charges of murdering his wife, District Court Judge Jane Gray said she reviewed an affidavit in which Cooper asks for a court-appointed attorney.

Shortly before 5 p.m., the law office currently defending Cooper announced that one of the attorneys on the case, Howard Kurtz, has been appointed by the capital defender's office to continue to represent Cooper.

Cooper reportedly made more than $100,000 dollars last year at his Cicsco Systems job in RTP.

That sort of a salary might normally disqualify a defendant from getting a court appointed attorney, but the judge approved the appointment of a public defender. That may mean that Cooper's debts outnumber his assets.

He has likely already run up significant legal bills fighting for and losing temporary custody of his two young daughters.

Nancy Cooper's parents and her identical twin sister are sharing custody of the girls who are living with that twin sister in Canada.

Court documents filed in that custody battle indicate that Brad and Nancy Cooper were having serious marital and financial troubles prior to her murder. A friend reported Nancy Cooper missing in mid-July.

Brad Cooper told police she went out for a jog and never returned. Two days later her strangled body was found near the couple's home in Cary's Lochmere development.

That's why one of the criminal attorneys who has been representing Cooper asked the Judge Gray to appoint an attorney from the Capital Defender's office, which specializes in murder cases.

Cooper was indicted Monday by a Wake County grand jury.

Cary police arrested him at his home on Wallsburg Court late in the afternoon. He has been held without bond since then.

It was Wake County's chief resident superior court judge who ordered that Cooper not be given bail and District Court Judge Gray said she could not overrule that decision.

Cooper will remain behind bars likely until a hearing is held to determine whether the state will seek the death penalty against him.

The District Attorney's office hasn't said yet whether it will seek the death penalty. That decision is likely to be announced at a future hearing in the Cooper case.

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