Local/State

Cooper's mother testifies

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brad Cooper's mother took the witness stand Wednesday in his murder trial.

She told the jury she was at his house the day he was arrested and got word it was about to happen from TV news reports.

"I said 'I need a hug. You need a hug,'" she recalled.

Carol Cooper also clarified what happened to some items that have been featured prominently in the trial.

There were two ornamental ducks in the foyer of the Cooper home that the prosecution said were missing. It called it evidence of a struggle.

Several witnesses testified earlier in the trial that the ducks were missing and pictures were shown of them.

But Carol Cooper produced the missing ducks in court.

Clearly irritated, prosecutor Howard Cummings asked why she didn't produce them earlier because she has been in court for all the testimony so far.

"You knew they weren't busted up. You knew they were in a box," said Cummings. "We spent all this time putting all these people on the stand that now look like a bunch of liars."

The defense objected before Cooper could explain herself saying she wasn't the one on trial.

Brad Cooper is charged with first-degree murder in his wife Nancy's death. She was last seen alive by friends at a neighborhood party in her Cary subdivision the evening of July 11, 2008.

Cooper told detectives his wife returned late that night and went out for a run around 7 a.m. the next morning, but never returned. Her body was found by a drainage pond in an unfinished subdivision a few miles from her home two days later. The medical examiner said she had been strangled.

Prosecutors rested their case last week. They allege Brad killed Nancy because he was angry she planned to divorce him and move with their two daughters to Canada.

Cooper's lawyers say he is innocent and have characterized the investigation by the Cary Police Department as inept. They say detectives focused on Cooper from the beginning of their investigation and never looked at other suspects.

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wake county, nancy cooper, local/state
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