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Tentative date set for homicide retrial

Aug. 27, 2013
 
Brian M. Cooper
Brian M. Cooper

A tentative retrial date was set Tuesday morning for a Plainfield, Ill., man charged in Door County Circuit Court with two counts of intentional homicide.

Brian M. Cooper, 36, is charged in the early morning Aug. 19, 2012, deaths of Alisha Bromfield, 21, also of Plainfield, and her unborn child, Ava, at a Nasewaupee resort. The two were in Door County to attend Cooper’s sister’s wedding.

Previously a Wood County jury was unable to come to a consensus on the homicide charges during a weeklong trial but did find him guilty of third-degree sexual assault on June 22. The sexual assault occurred after Bromfield died.

Cooper appeared in court with his two recently appointed attorneys, public defenders Gregory A. Gerbers and Jeffrey Cano.

Judge D. Todd Ehlers asked Gerbers, Cano and assistant District Attorney Joan Korb about possible trial dates.

“My hopes is let’s get this on the calendar as soon as possible,” Ehlers said.

The attorneys settled on May 2, 2014, for selecting the out-of-county jury. The trial is scheduled to start May 5. An alternate date of May 19 has also been scheduled.

The county where the jury will be drawn from has not been decided yet, he said.

Ehlers asked how much time the attorneys might need.

“The last trial, I don’t know if this is going longer or shorter ... I think we were almost done with the case in four days,” he said. “I suppose in theory we could pick a jury on a Monday and start here Tuesday morning.”

Korb brought up Cooper’s previous two-part plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

“That was withdrawn in the last trial,” she said. “I’m assuming that it is no longer an issue for the new trial,” she said.

“We haven’t discounted any options at this time,” Gerbers replied.

Ehlers pointed out as it stands Cooper is simply pleading not guilty and if that changes, another hearing will be scheduled.

The judge also addressed the defense’s requests for transcripts from the first trial, saying the files would be ready by Oct. 1.

Bromfield’s mother, Sherry Anicich, and four supporters were also in court.

Contact Samantha Hernandez at svhernande@doorcountyadvocate.com or (920) 743-3321, Ext. 112.

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