Brad Cooper found guilty of first degree murder

Brad Cooper, 37, has been found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife Nancy Cooper.

Nancy Cooper, who grew up in Edmonton, was killed in the summer of 2008 in North Carolina where the couple lived with their two daughters.

Brad Cooper told police that his wife had gone jogging on the morning of July 12, 2008 and never returned home.

A man walking a dog found Nancy Cooper’s body face down in a ditch on July 14, 2008. The body was found just 3 miles from the Cooper’s home.

Brad Cooper, who is also from Alberta, was arrested in October of 2008 for the murder.

Close to 100 witnesses testified in the trial.

Some of Nancy Cooper’s friends testified that the Coopers were having marital troubles, and that Brad Cooper had taken his wife’s passport to keep her from returning to Canada.

Brad Cooper’s lawyers maintained his innocence throughout the trial. During closing remarks, the defense accused the Cary police of failing to do a thorough search for other suspects in the case.

Nancy Cooper’s family was present for the verdict on Thursday. They spoke outside the court house.

"I’m happy this day finally came, happy for Nancy’s little girls, happy for our family." Nancy’s mother Donna Rentz said.

When a reporter asked if the family could sense Nancy at the court, Donna Rentz replied "Yes, I felt her presence."

Cooper will serve life in prison without parole for the conviction.

The verdict is read out in a North Carolina court room.

With files from WRAL.