Update: The NC Court of Appeals’ decision was released on 9/3/13 – NEW TRIAL. Brad was assigned new counsel and is awaiting a new trial.
I created this blog because I watched the entire trial and was shocked at how unfair both the investigation and trial were. I literally felt traumatized at the guilty verdict. I couldn’t believe that the system could be this unfair and I had no idea that anything like this could happen.
What about it was unfair?
For starters, there were serious discovery violations. The State used National Security as a reason not to share information about how computer evidence was handled, how files were retrieved and the master file table itself. It was a clear Brady violation and Judge Gessner permitted it. They were able to hide behind national security because the computer was analyzed by the FBI and the state submitted an affidavit stating that sharing the data could jeopardize national security. This should never be allowed and it basically prevented the defense from having the ability to properly address the computer evidence. This had never been done before in a trial.
Brad Cooper was convicted based on the computer evidence, a Google search but the evidence was clearly subject to tampering. The Cary police did not follow proper protocols in the handling of this evidence. They left the computer on for 27 hours and during that time files were altered, passwords were changed, email archives were accessed and the computer was not hashed until several weeks later. Protocols are crucial because it preserves the evidence so that it can not be tampered with. As it turns out, the defense experts did indeed find evidence of tampering. They found several indications of tampering that could not be explained by the State witnesses. However, the judge would not allow the jury to hear from the defense witnesses. He was clearly biased throughout the trial and the defense team’s inability to address the computer evidence put them at an enormously unfair disadvantage. The alleged Google search was never verified by a 3rd party, even though the FBI told Cary police to do this. It was never proven that the search was conducted on Brad’s computer and in fact the defense experts found evidence that the files were planted.
In addition to this, the judge wouldn’t allow testimony into the trial from the Cooper’s 4 year old daughter who told a neighbor that she saw her mother that morning. They filed a motion to compel shortly before the trial but the judge refused to order the State to provide discovery about Bella seeing Nancy that morning.
Cary police destroyed evidence 10 days after receiving a preservation letter from the defense. They irreparably wiped Nancy Cooper’s cell phone and destroyed the SIM card. Everything indicates that this was an intentional act since the detective who destroyed it was not even qualified to examine the phone.
Cary police ignored 16 witnesses who reported they saw Nancy that morning. Not one of them was contacted by police until 3 months later. Some of them reported seeing a strange van in the area and one believed they saw a van turn around and follow a jogger who he believed was Nancy Cooper.
Cary police failed to investigate an alternate suspect who knew Nancy’s running route, had had recent contact with her and had a sexual encounter with her years prior and was possibly the father of one of the children.
Chief Bazemore stated “this was not a random act” before the investigation even began. Think about how irresponsible and dangerous it is for a police chief to basically declare the husband guilty before any facts of the case are known! But that is exactly what happened and things quickly snowballed out of control from there.
There’s so much more. Please read through the blog, watch the videos and do what you can to support Brad Cooper. Donate toward his defense at http://www.justiceforbrad.com and subscribe to this blog to stay informed with the case. Brad Cooper was railroaded and it can happen to anyone.
I don’t have any connection to this case. I don’t know Brad Cooper or anyone involved in the case. I just believe strongly that the truth about what really happened to Nancy Cooper needs to be uncovered – this case remains unsolved. Please help if you have any information that could be useful in solving this crime.