As anticipated, the lawyer who represented Brian Cooper during his recent murder trial in Door County Circuit Court has been given permission to withdraw from the case. Attorney Shane Brabazon of Green Bay cited Cooper’s request to replace him prior to the beginning of the 36-year old Plainfield, Illinois man’s jury trial in June on two counts of first degree intentional homicide & one count of third degree sexual assault. That request was denied.
Cooper was accused of strangling 21-year old Alisha Bromfield to death at a southern Door County resort last August. The Plainfield, Illinois woman was six months pregnant at the time. It was also alleged that Cooper had sex with her corpse. The jury from Wood County came in with a guilty verdict on the sexual assault charge, but said it was hopelessly deadlocked on the murder charges after deliberating for parts of Friday & Saturday, June 21st & 22nd. Judge D. Todd Ehlers declared a mistrial & discharged the jury.
During a hearing Tuesday morning, Cooper told the judge that he had spoken with the public defender’s officer, but nothing was settled as to who would be appointed to defend him. Judge Ehlers scheduled a hearing on the matter for July 12th at 10AM. It is unclear when the new jury trial would be held or where a new jury would come from. The process could begin one week from Friday.