Judge Denies Mistrial Motion in Cooper Trial

Door County Judge D. Todd Ehlers has denied a motion for a mistrial made by the attorney for a 36-year old Illinois man charged with murder. On Tuesday, Green Bay attorney Shane Brabazon, representing Brian Cooper of Plainfield, Illinois, said the prosecution had violated the judge’s pre-trial order not to present information about Cooper’s former girlfriend when it projected a written transcript while the video of his client’s police interview was being shown. A reference to the woman appeared on the transcript for about 15 seconds. District Attorney Ray Pelrine argued that the reference was only up a few seconds, not enough time to prejudice the jury. Brabazon also indicated that it was prejudicial to have the interview screen go blank after investigator Mark Winkel had asked Cooper if he had ever harmed anyone else, noting that the jury was left to wonder if that was the case. Jurors were out of the court room during the time that the two sides argued over the mistrial motion, having wrapped up their work for the day.

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