Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) January 26, 2014
After considering a petition for discretionary review filed by the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office in "State v. Cooper", the N.C. Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the N.C. Court of Appeals granting Brad Cooper a new trial. Cooper was found guilty in May 2011 of murdering his wife Nancy and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The homicide rocked Cary, a Wake County town with a reputation for safety and the trial itself made national headlines.
Cooper’s conviction was overturned by the N.C. Court of Appeals because the defense was not allowed to present expert testimony in rebuttal to certain computer and internet evidence offered by the prosecution. The Court of Appeals held that this oversight by the trial court was egregious enough to warrant a new trial.
“This is a real victory for justice,” said Howard Kurtz, trial counsel for Mr. Cooper. “Brad absolutely deserves a new trial and everyone in our office is very excited about the Supreme Court’s decision.”
Mr. Kurtz, who headed Cooper’s defense team during the original trial (08 CRS 22922), is pleased that Brad is getting a second chance to go before a jury but doesn’t expect the trial to occur any time in the near future.
“The Cooper case was the longest non-capital trial to ever occur in Wake County,” Howard explains. “The first trial lasted for 10 weeks, and that was without allowing [the defense] to present the expert testimony that we wanted. This is not the type of case that anyone can be ready for overnight.”
In the meantime, the knowledge that there is still much left to do in the Cooper case is not stopping the defense team from celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision.
“Mr. Cooper still has a long road ahead of him and it will be some time before this case is set to rest once and for all,” remarked Seth Blum, Kurtz’s law partner and co-founder of Kurtz and Blum, PLLC. “That being said, we’re enormously pleased – this really is a step in the right direction.”