Monday, September 19, 2011

Lynn Blanchard outlines the police misconduct in the Brad Cooper case

The wrongful conviction of Brad Cooper for the murder of his wife -- and I have no doubt that it was wrongful -- is testament to the corruption of police and prosecutors in North Carolina. When someone trots out the "they disbarred Mike Nifong" line, keep in mind that Nifong not only acted unethically, but he also acted criminally, yet there was no investigation of this erstwhile felon.

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.

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.
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.


Anne-Marie D. Smith said...

The last sentence of this article sums things up very accurately. The fact that this takes place in our country, in the year 2011, is downright alarming. The saddest fact is, the people in North Carolina don't seem to have a problem with this. Guess they haven't stopped to think that this could happen to any one of them, too.

Robert said...

The trampling of a defendants constitutional rights to a fair trial with the presumption of innocence until proven guilty - was never more evident than in the Nancy Cooper murder trial.

Brad Cooper was viewed guilty by the CPD and the media by 2:00pm the afternoon of her disappearance - 2 days before they even found Ms. Cooper's body - all else at that point became moot in the eyes of the Cary Police Department which immediately focused all resources and manpower on "proving" him guilty at the expense of performing even a nominal investigation into the actual witness accounts and evidence that was readily available,(ie; tiretracks, footprints, ME report, etc...) but ignored as "they" deemed it not necessary and just continued to zero in on "their man".

Thank you so very much Mr. Anderson for helping us to keep Mr. Cooper's case in the public eye.

Anything further you can do would be most appreciated by those of us that still believe in the Constitution and all our forefathers meant that it was to protect.

Jeanne Wagner said...

I picture Brad Cooper in prison every day and it is a BAD feeling that he is wrongfully there. Jurors more concerned for their own lives did not take the time to see how the evidence presented to them could not possibly fit for a guilty vote. The Cary Police obviously more concerned for their own image & to close the case and not take time to really investigate and gather evidence. Then, there was a judge who could just say he was not a "techie" so key evidence was not presented. Because of these attitudes & actions, Brad Cooper sits in prison- an INNOCENT man. Many of us do care and want him freed. Thanks Mr. Anderson for recognizing this and writing this. MANY thanks to Lynne Blanchard for her excellent preparation of information that is well organized and easy to understand. Hopefully, these are steps that will lead to a process of showing the courts system that the man THEY PUT IN PRISON needs to go FREE!

Anonymous said...

Jeanne, I hate to tell you, But judges do not rule against each other, I pray you can show the courts, but we could not get them to listen, The truth all in black and white, but still would not do anything. We even had a judge say he had a bad feeling and it bother him, but he still went along with them, what kind of justice is that. I know what it feels like when you know a person is innocent and sitting in prison, and can't get anyone to help you.Sad to say but they do not care. I will keep you in my prayers.

justiceseeker51 said...

Don't 'give up'.....

Doc Ellis 124 said...

Greetings Dr Anderson


Thank you for writing this

Doc Ellis 124

Chris Halkides said...

I have only been following this case a little bit. But someone needs to look at the stomach and duodenum evidence with a fine tooth comb. Although it is not always possible to get a precise TOD from these data, when some conditions are met, it can be powerful.

Anonymous said...

The stomach was almost empty, but there was a piece of onion and an unidentified red liquid found. That sounds more like left-overs from dinner (1am TOD) than a pre-run coffee (8am TOD) to me. What do you think?

Robert said...

You are full of half truths. In addition to the small bit of red onion - the ME also found caffeine in her system, which would point to her morning running routine of drinking coffee beforehand - as she was witnessed to not have had any drink containing caffeine at the party.

Witnesses also testified that Ms. Cooper ate heavily during the party which included foods such as ribs, potato salad (red onion), corn...etc.

The ME reported along with no signs of vomiting, a very low level of alcohol content was present, which is not consistent with the anywhere between 6-8 drinks she was witnessed to drink at the party and the DA's TOD at 1am theory.

There was simply not enough time to digest the food and filter the alcohol out of her system as your bodily systems stop processing at TOD, making it in reality impossible that all the food and alcohol would have been digested/processed by the 1am TOD theory purported by the DA.

Between the stomache contents and low alcohol level - all signs indicate that the TOD is consistent with an 8-9 am time frame - which would substantiate Brads account of her going jogging that morning.

Anonymous said...

The pot luck started at 6pm... by 8pm any food still left would be icky. I would have stopped eating by 8pm. The defense story is she was up at 5am doing laundry. I don't see her being awake for 2.5 hours and then going out for a run, without at least filling up on water. No water or coffee found in the stomach, just what could have been red wine and potato salad.

Lynne said...

The ME testified that it would have taken much longer than 5 hours for her to completely digest her food. He indicated that she would have needed to vomit the entire contents of her stomach in order to have died at 4AM. She was seen eating late into the evening, certainly after 9PM and later.

Remember her BAC was .06. She drank too much for it to have been that low and there is only one explanation and that is that she had time to metabolize both the food and alcohol.

It's amazing we're still going over this when it's clearly contrary to the state's theory. Yet you still try to convince people that it's true.

William L. Anderson said...

Why are we surprised when a prosecution troll lies? They lied all through the trial, and my guess is that lies are all they know.

Rob said...

Anonymous @ 9/28/11 12:47 PM:

"The pot luck started at 6pm... by 8pm any food still left would be icky."

Not necessarily.

"I would have stopped eating by 8pm."

That's nice. You're not her, though. Or are you trying to paint yourself as an exemplar of the reasonable-person standard?

"The defense story is she was up at 5am doing laundry. I don't see her being awake for 2.5 hours and then going out for a run, without at least filling up on water."

You "don't see" her doing that. Why not, exactly? See more below.

"No water or coffee found in the stomach, just what could have been red wine and potato salad."

"What could have been" - wow. So your reasoning is that, since it could have happened, therefore it must have happened? I hope you realize that you're committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent here. Let me know if you need help understanding that.

Surely you know that, barring a full stomach, water almost immediately leaves the stomach and goes into the intestines. And surely you know that coffee is mostly water. Who exactly are you trying to fool here?

kbp said...

While I see much that leaves us wanting for a better LE and judicial system, actually the elimination of a few individuals from those systems involved in this case, I'm left hoping the defense preserved all the issues addressed throughout the various blogs ripe for an appeal.

Unfortunately, many are merely very questionable evidence presented which might have related to how a jury was influenced to find what they say is fact.

I then question how well the defense team did for Brad.

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