Defense Expert’s Report on the Blackberry

Mr. Levitan’s report can be found here: Blackberry_Report

I attached the above link to the previous blog post but decided to do a separate post to make sure everyone sees this. After reading this and listening to the testimony, it’s very difficult to believe that this could have been accidental. Please continue to put pressure on the media, the Cary mayor, town council and town manager to demand an investigation into the probable misconduct in the Nancy Cooper murder investigation.

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4 thoughts on “Defense Expert’s Report on the Blackberry

  1. Every citizen in NC should be quite concerned about this entire issue of what took place….
    IT happened to Brad Cooper….in Cary, NC…..IT can happen to anyone….I am quite SHOCKED
    at how this murder investigation and trial took place….without citizens DEMANDING ANSWERS….as to why this was ALLOWED…..CORRUPTION and COVER UPS….this kind of thing is EVERYWHERE….we, the people, should be nervous and furious about all of this….NO ONE IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE OR RESPONSIBLE for their own ACTIONS….and the Cary Police Chief and Mayor and Town Council said “it was a good job”…..REALLY??????????????????????????

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  2. Thank you so much for this excellent blog! Like thousands of others, I watched this trial in its entirety, and my jaw hit the floor when the verdict was read. Having lived in Raleigh NC (5miles from Cary) for six years, I was particularly disgusted by the supreme bias and hostility displayed towards a defendant in open court; the “Judge” was a disaster, and any reasonable person would have to agree. Regardless of guilt or innocence, it was stunning to watch Brad and his two attorneys on one side of the court room, versus the three prosecutors, several police officers (always present) and at least a dozen “friends” (who obviously had a lot of free time); to say nothing of the Judge clearly being hostile to the widely used defense of police ineptness. THAT, to me, is what mandates a new trial, and a new judge.

    That being said, I did want to make a few points as devil’s advocate that I hope this blog can answer:

    1) The FBI testimony regarding the Google maps, as I recall, was not available for public viewing, as the Judge wanted to protect the identity of the agent. Since the jury made it clear that the google maps, and the accompanying testimony, sold the case for them, do you think we are overlooking how dramatic such testimony may have been? I’m not saying that there is not ample evidence of planting, but we are not able to evaluate the credibility of the FBI agent or his statements at trial.

    2) The one MAJOR mistake I think the defense made was in its first forensic “expert.” Quite frankly, the defense failed Brad here, b/c the first witness called (who was judged not to be a forensic expert, but merely a “computer expert”) was clearly not the best they could have found. And I agreed with the prosecution that the defense should have found someone who actually had forensic experience. This could be, ironically, Brad’s best chance at an “ineffective counsel” defense.

    3) So that leaves the new forensic expert they bring in (the one whose testimony was heard outside of the jury’s presence). HE was obviously credible, and one wonders why he was not called to begin with. Now, what bothers me and leads me to believe an appeal is necessary is that the Judge would not allow this expert to testify solely for procedural reasons: The prosecution didn’t have enough time to prepare. If this was a shoplifting charge, I’d be cool, but when a man is facing life w/out parole, he deserves for everything to be presented to the jury.

    I’d love for anyone to comment on the above two points in particular, and I look forward to reading more of this blog in the future!

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    • Matt, thank you for reading the blog and taking the time to post some questions. To answer your first question, the little that I’ve read makes me seriously wonder how the jury bought this testimony. Chappell had no explanation for the 600+ files changed, could not provide a response to how they ruled out tampering and claimed that he didn’t include password information in his report (Brad’s passwords were modified while the computer was in police custody) but the information WAS included on the other computers.

      One thing it’s important to realize is that most computer firms that evaluate for tampering/intrusions/planted files AND have forensic experience are very closely tied to law enforcement. I think you would be surprised at the challenge involved in finding someone who meets both criteria. Forensics exams go hand in hand with LE and not many are willing to jeopardize their business by testifying to something that’s unfavorable to LE.

      Although Jay didn’t have fancy forensic certifications, he had a substantial amount of experience in detecting tampering/intrusions on computers. He had limited forensic experience but forensics really just means “to present in court”. There was nothing about his analysis that was in any way substandard because he didn’t have forensic experience. The judge was wrong not to allow it and in fact he should have felt obligated to allow it since he allowed the “search” into the courtroom in the first place. It should not have been allowed since the computers were handled improperly and none of the data could therefore be trusted. To allow one and not the other was extremely unfair.

      Masucci came forward and volunteered to assist with this case, after seeing how unfair it was that Jay’s testimony wasn’t allowed. He was an examiner, not a network security specialist like Jay. But he confirmed all of Jay’s findings. He would not have been skilled to do the initial analysis that Jay did because a network security expert is the right person and best person to identify tampering. I hope that makes sense.

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