The trial of a man facing two murder charges in Door County will not be heard by a Door County jury.
That was the ruling Thursday by Door County Judge Todd Ehlers, who said Brian Cooper's trial will be heard in a Door County courtroom but the panel of jurors would have to be drawn from outside of northeast Wisconsin.
In making his decision on the change of venue motion, Judge Ehlers agreed with defense attorney Shane Brabazon that the case has generated "significant publicity" in Door County and it would be difficult for Cooper to get a fair trial with local jurors.
On a different motion Ehlers ruled in favor of the prosecution, namely that several statements by Cooper will be admissible in court. After hearing testimony from Door County Sheriff's Department investigators Connie Schuster and Mark Winkel, Ehlers ruled that a 911 call placed by Cooper prior to being taken into custody, a conversation with his mother that took place inside the Door County Jail, and other phone calls made by Cooper from jail will be admissible. Statements made by Cooper during three separate interviews with Winkel while in custody also will be admissible.
The 36-year-old Cooper is accused of killing Alisha Bromfield and her unborn daughter August 19 in the Town of Nasewaupee. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but on December 21 entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Judge Ehlers said the selection of jurors for the trial would take place Friday, April 5 with in-court proceedings beginning in Sturgeon Bay on Monday, April 8.