Nancy Cooper was found wearing only a black and red sports bra when her body was discovered in a drainage pond on July 14th, 2008. On the afternoon of July 12th, Brad told police that she left to go running and hadn’t returned. Police questioned him extensively on the 12th and again on the 13th in his home. Although they tried to persuade him to go to the police station numerous times to answer questions, Brad declined. He wanted to stay home with his two young daughters. Brad was fully cooperative and police continued to question him during the days when Nancy was a missing person. Police neglected to record any of the interviews with Brad, although they did record many of the interviews with other witnesses involved in this case. It is probably obvious where this is going.
Both Detective Daniels and Dismukes testified that when asked what Nancy was wearing the morning of July 12th, that Brad stated that he was unsure what she was wearing because he was upstairs when he heard her leave the house. They both went on to add that Brad said “black and red sports bra” and then stopped.
They also both testified that when they went to the Cooper home on July 14th to inform him that a body had been found that could be Nancy, and they again asked him what she was wearing the morning of July 12th that he again stated “black and red sports bra” and stopped.
When the defense attorney questioned Daniels about this, he had him read his hand written notes from July 12th aloud. Brad had actually given him a list of several clothing items Nancy may have been wearing. He didn’t have the statement “black and red sports bra and then stopped” anywhere in his notes. This is exactly why attorneys caution people about talking to police. Do you see how easy it is for them to testify about anything they want? Their claim that Brad made this statement goes a long way toward supporting their theory, yet there is NO proof that he said “black and red sports bra” and then stopped. None. Had Brad contacted an attorney immediately, and had he been advised not to answer their questions, none of this would have been possible.
Here is a short video from the trial where the bra is discussed. Note how the prosecutor, ADA Howard Cummings presents this in closing arguments….knowing full well that there was no evidence that Brad made any such statement about the sports bra. And knowing that it wouldn’t have been logical for him to say that after he just got finished telling them that he didn’t know what she was wearing because he didn’t see her leave! These unethical tactics are very effective in securing convictions and it seems that most wrongful conviction cases include many examples of this type of evidence. I suppose one could wonder why the jury didn’t disregard this, since it was clear that Brad stated he did not know what she was wearing when she left but this trial was so lengthy that I think it was impossible for them to catch all of these details. For a complete summary of this case, please visit the Justice For Brad website.