Cooper Denied New Trial

An Illinois man, doing time in a Wisconsin prison in connection with the death of a woman and her unborn child in Door County in August of 2012, has been denied a new trial. Thirty-eight year old Brian Cooper of Plainfield, Illinois contended that he had received inadequate legal counsel prior to his conviction in May of 2014 in the strangling death of Alisha Bromfield, also of Plainfield, at a southern Door County resort. Cooper’s current Attorney, Ana Babcock of Green Bay, argued that her client’s trial attorney should have pushed for the lesser included charge of first degree reckless homicide. Cooper claimed that he was so intoxicated at the time of Bromfield’s death that he didn’t know what he was doing. In handing down his decision to deny Cooper’s request, Judge Ehlers said it was speculative to believe the jury would have gone for the lesser sentence of 60 years, rather than life in prison. The judge said Cooper’s “go for broke” strategy was intended to reach acquittal on all counts. Cooper did not take the stand in his own behalf Wednesday. His former Attorney, John Birdsall, was called as a prosecution witness. He testified that he and Cooper met practically on a daily basis in the month leading up to the trial and all options were discussed. An appeal of Judge Ehler’s ruling is expected to filed with the State Appeals Court in Wausau.

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