It always has been my contention that when it comes to police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct, the authorities will toss out a bone in order to make it look as though they are "doing something" about the lies and corruption. That is what was done in the Duke Lacrosse Case, and now that the State Bar has Nifong's trophy on their wall, the members are free to look the other way when it comes to outright criminal behavior on behalf of prosecutors.
Lynn Blanchard had done a heroic job in pointing out the massive misconduct and outright lying that was part and parcel to the Cooper case. From the police to the judge (who is a former cop and prosecutor, so he knows all of the tricks and is anxious to remain in the club). Her latest post outlines the police misconduct in the case, and I would urge you to read it.
I list two sections below:
Fabricated evidence/shoes: The police and prosecutors put a great deal of focus on shoes in this case. In all three cases the facts were misrepresented. First, Detective Young claimed to have found two right shoes, implying that while hastily cleaning up the crime scene, Brad grabbed two left shoes by mistake and disposed of them. During the trial there was a LOT of discussion about the “missing” two left shoes and honestly, it does sound good if you believe someone is guilty. However, the truth is that the two right shoes were different sizes, different styles, were not even Nancy’s current size and they were not even found in the house! There were a ton of shoes scattered all throughout the Cooper’s home and Young “found” the mismatched shoes on a shelf in the garage. Clearly this was fabricated evidence and the prosecutors had no problem using it at the trial. They made sure they highlighted this in closing.So, Brad Cooper is in prison while a murderer runs free. THAT is justice in North Carolina. I have come to believe that cops and prosecutors pretty much don't care if they get the "right" person, just as long as they get SOMEONE.
Then throughout the trial they referred to Brad’s missing shoes, the pair he was wearing in the Harris Teeter video. It was their theory that he disposed of the body right before that trip and that is the significance of the “missing” shoes. The site where the body was found was extremely muddy and if Brad had been there in those shoes, mud would have been in the car, on his shoes and on the floor in the HT video. It was not. Detective Young testified that he never asked Brad for the shoes, it’s not in any of his notes that he ever searched for the shoes and the shoes were not even included in the initial search warrant. They were included in a search warrant right after his arrest, over three months later. Yet, the prosecutors went on and on about Brad’s “missing” shoes. I can’t think of any reason why they neglected to find and examine those shoes in those first days of the investigation. They had the HT video on July 12th.
Finally, there’s Nancy’s missing Sauconys. Brad told Young on 7/13 that Nancy had 3 pairs of running shoes. One pair was never found and that is obviously the pair she wore that morning when she left to go running. Police found the receipt for those shoes at the Athlete’s Foot store. Brad told police that Nancy purchased her running shoes there. They tried to determine if Nancy possibly returned that pair of shoes. Young testified that the store was unable to determine whether or not the shoes had been returned. That was a lie that was revealed in further testimony when he read his signed statement about the store verifying that the shoes had never been returned at that store. Why would the police detective feel compelled to lie on the stand if the investigation was honest? Again, the prosecutors ran with this and stated to the jury that Nancy’s only running shoes were in the home.
“The bed did not appear to have been slept in” - Detective Daniels had this written in his notes on 7/12, referring to Nancy’s bed. But the bed did look slept in. Photos displayed during the trial confirmed this. When asked, officer Hayes testified that it looked as if someone sat in it. When the defense attorney asked Daniels about the bed, he testified that he first wrote the note that the bed didn’t look slept in, sat in the bed, did not document that he sat in it, then took a photo of the bed. It is simply unbelievable. The bedding would later be sent to SBI for bodily fluid and fiber analysis and Daniels didn’t bother to inform SBI that he had contaminated it by sitting on it. Please watch trial summary part 2 for testimony on this.