Cary neighborhood reacts to Brad Cooper guilty verdict - WNCN: News, Weather

Cary neighborhood reacts to Brad Cooper guilty verdict

By Justin Quesinberry

A jury found Brad Cooper guilty of first degree murder Thursday in the death of his wife, Nancy.

“It’s a relief,” said Diana Duncan, Nancy Cooper’s friend and neighbor.

“It's still a tragedy,” she said.

Duncan said the people at the center of the case were “real people.”

She described Nancy as “a wonderful woman” and Brad as someone “I used to look at as a friend.”

Relief, happiness and sadness were among the emotions expressed by the Coopers’ former neighbors Thursday night.

"I threw a little party in my car. I was in my car when I heard it and I did a little dance. I was really happy,” said Lena Baughman, who lived in the same neighborhood as Brad and Nancy Cooper.

Baughman said Nancy Cooper was like a second mother to her.

“I was over at her house almost every day. I used to babysit her girls. I used to dog sit when they had dogs. We were really close,” she said.

Baughman is pleased with the verdict, but not about the toll the case took on people during the past nearly three years.

"It's not happy. It ruined a bunch of peoples' lives,” she said.

"It's a relief to have everything over. I'm really happy that it's all over,” Baughman said.

It’s over after a two month long murder trial.

"I was stunned. I was stunned. I honestly thought he would walk,” said Darla Kranau, a neighbor of the Coopers who said she initially had no intentions of following the trial.

"Somehow it sucked me in. It was like watching a trainwreck,” she said.

Kranau said too much dirty laundry was aired during the case.

"It was personal. Her parents didn't need to be exposed to that. There was no need in it,” she said.

Some neighbors said the trial’s impact on Nancy Cooper’s family is part of the tragedy.

"They had to sit through all this for all these weeks and weeks and they still won't have their daughter,” Kranau said.

And now, Nancy Cooper’s daughters don’t have their parents.

"After the tragedy of losing Nancy, the second tragedy was that those two little girls lost both of their parents,” Duncan said.

The girls on the minds of many, including Baughman, who said she’s their former babysitter.

"Brad messed their life up for the rest of their lives, no matter what, how you look at it. He put him away in jail and took their mother away from them,” Baughman said.

“I think it's closure for everybody, but I mean, I feel sorry for the girls because they're going to have to know that their father killed their mom for the rest of their life,” she said.

Duncan said the verdict “means certainty” for the Coopers’ daughters, who are now living in Canada in the custody of Nancy’s twin sister.

"Now they have a certain future with those parents,” she said.

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