The trial of a Cary man accused of a notorious murder began in a Wake County courtroom yesterday. Before settling in to jury selection, the judge quashed, or annulled, the defense team’s subpoenas for information they say must be disclosed by the prosecution.
North Carolina requires law enforcement evidence to be shared with defense before trial. Defense counsel had complained to the Court of Appeals that they had not received all of the evidence due them.
The subpoenas, issued late last week, sought correspondence from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Wake County City/County Bureau of Identification. The two agencies had participated in the investigation and, according to the defense, had not produced information regarding the victim’s alleged lover, the victim’s time of death and exchanges with lawyers who represented the victim’s family in several civil matters before the defendant’s arrest.
The defendant is accused of murdering his wife about two-and-a-half years ago. The woman disappeared one morning in July of 2008. Her husband said she had gone jogging and not returned. Her body was found two days later.
Details of the troubled marriage have become public since the defendant’s arrest in October 2008. Neighbors reported that the couple had fought the day before the victim disappeared. Civil court files showed that the couple was having financial troubles as well. Cary police turned up evidence that the wife was working with a divorce lawyer before her death.
The defendant has been in jail since 2008. The victim’s parents have custody of the couple’s two young children.
Jury selection is expected to take a week. Testimony will begin next week.
Raleigh News & Observer, “Cooper jurors being picked,” Anne Blythe, 03/01/11
Raleigh News & Observer, “Brad Cooper goes on trial today in wife’s slaying,” Anne Blythe, 02/28/11