A Cary man accused of murdering his wife made his first appearance before a judge Tuesday.
Police arrested Brad Cooper Monday afternoon, and charged him with murdering his wife, 34-year-old Nancy Cooper.
Dressed in a standard orange-and-white striped jumpsuit, Brad Cooper said little as he made his first appearance in court.
"Good afternoon Mr. Cooper. I need to advise you that you've been charged with first-degree murder," said Judge Jane Gray, as Cooper made his way to the bench.
Brad's mother, Carol Cooper, attended the court session and left without comment.
A small group of Nancy's friends also turned out for the appearance which lasted less than five minutes.
"All of Nancy's family is far away in Canada," said Hannah Prichard. "We figured someone needed to be here to represent that side."
Cooper is being held without bond, and surprised some people in the courtroom when he requested a public defender.
"It's my understanding from an affidavit that's been previously prepared that you're not in a position to hire your own lawyer at this time," said Gray. "I'm going to approve the appointment of a public defender."
Howard Kurtz, who represented Cooper during a recent custody fight with Nancy's family, has already been assigned to represent him in the criminal trial.
Kurtz's partner, Seth Blum, said he will assist in the criminal case.
"He's not guilty," said Blum. "We'll have to see what the state thinks they've got."
Blum also explained the request for a public defender, saying, "As the custody case went on and on, it became clear that he was running out of the limited money that he had."
The district attorney's office has not yet decided if they'll pursue the death penalty for Brad Cooper.
If they do, the Office of the Capitol Defender told NBC17 they'll probably assign another attorney to help the defense team.
Brad Cooper's next court date has not yet been determined.
Nancy Cooper disappeared July 12, after Brad Cooper says she went jogging.
Two days later she was found strangled less than three miles from the couple's home.
Cary police are releasing few details about what led to the arrest, but the bitter custody dispute has fueled speculation for the last three months.
Web Only: Play The Video Above To Watch Cary PD's Press Conference On The Nancy Cooper Murder Case
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