It took six years for Brad Cooper to finally admit to strangling his wife and dumping her body in a drainage ditch.
Back in 2008, the father-of-two killed his wife Nancy in Cary, North Carolina, then hid her body along a construction site. Initially, Cooper maintained that he had no idea where she disappeared to, even after being convicted of the murder.
It wasn’t until he was offered a plea agreement, which would in turn reduce his term of a life sentence without parole to just 12 years, that he confessed to the murder for the first time in court.
Judge Paul Gessner questioned him as part of the plea proceedings: “Did you, in fact, kill Nancy Cooper and dump her body on Fielding Drive?”
While he may have finally confessed, he offered no apologies and would not go into detail about the crime.
Considering the time he has already served, pleading guilty to second-degree murder means he could be released from prison in less than seven years.
As part of this agreement, Cooper was also forced to surrender the rights of his daughters, Katie and Bella, who will be adopted by their mother’s sister, Krista Lister.
“It’s total relief,” she told the News Observer. “He doesn’t deserve them. He doesn’t deserve to know them, and I’m very happy about it.”
According to prosecutors, he was having an affair with various women before the slaying, including one of the families’ neighbors, while his wife was attempting to “get out of the marriage” because of domestic abuse and escape back to Canada. That’s around the time that he cut her off from their joint bank account to ensure she had no way of supporting herself and the children. Then, he strangled her to death.
“When we started this process years ago, I said I wished the person responsible for this crime would come forward and acknowledge guilt and own up to their behavior. That’s happened today,” Garry Rentz, the victim’s father, told the paper.