A man who killed his Edmonton-raised wife near their home in North Carolina 12 years ago is expected to be deported back to Canada.
Bradley (Brad) Cooper, 47, was released Monday from the Mountain View Correctional Institution in Spruce Pine, N.C., where he had been serving a sentence for second-degree murder.
Cooper, who is from Medicine Hat, was initially found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of his wife Nancy Cooper and handed a life sentence, but the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in January 2014 to allow a retrial.
Cooper accepted a plea deal offered by the prosecution rather than continuing to wait for the retrial, pleading guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder and a jail term of 12 to 15 years, including credit for time served before his trial.
Cooper admitted to killing the 34-year-old mother of two and dumped her body in a drainage ditch near their home in Cary, N.C.
The Coopers were married in Calgary in October 2000, and moved to North Carolina a year later for work.
Court proceedings laid out how their marriage began to break down in the following years. At the time of her death, Nancy was seeking a divorce.
She vanished on July 12, 2008. At the time, her husband said she went jogging and never returned. An intense search was launched, and Nancy’s strangled body was found two days later in an unfinished subdivision.
The plea deal came with a condition allowing Cooper’s two daughters, who are now teenagers, to be adopted by family in Canada. The girls have been living with Nancy’s family for the better part of a decade.
Cooper is set to be deported back to Canada, according to NBC-affiliated television station WRAL-TV in Raleigh — who Global News teamed up with while covering Cooper’s trial.
Sources told WRAL because he is a convicted felon who isn’t a U.S. citizen, Cooper would be taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement upon his release from prison so that the deportation process could begin.
The Department of Justice Canada would not confirm or deny the existence of an extradition request from the United States, saying such requests are confidential communications between states.
“We can confirm that there is no extradition case from Canada relating to Mr. Cooper pending in the courts in the United States at this time,” a spokesperson said in a statement a few weeks ago.
“Questions about Mr. Cooper’s release conditions and his ability to return to Canada are best directed to North Carolina authorities.”
While the North Carolina Department Of Public Safety confirmed Monday Cooper is out of prison, it’s not yet known if he is in ICE custody. The department could not say what the next steps would be, citing state privacy laws.
Global News reached out to Nancy’s family, who did not want to comment on Cooper’s release.