STURGEON BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The murder case that convinced the governor and Legislature to ban "voluntary intoxication" as an allowable defense is having its second trial this week in Door County.
Testimony began Monday in the case of 37-year-old Brian Cooper of Plainfield Illinois. He's charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and sexual assault in the raping and strangling of 21-year-old Alisha Bromfield and her unborn child in August of 2012.
Cooper's first trial ended in a hung jury. Authorities said Bromfield had joined Cooper at his sister's wedding in Door County, and she was not interested in rekindling a romance.
In February, state Assembly Republican Steve Nass of Whitewater told fellow lawmakers that Cooper claimed to be too drunk to have intended to kill Bromfield and her unborn child. Both houses later approved Nass' bill to ban voluntary intoxication as an acceptable defense in future homicide cases.
The governor signed the law in mid-April, about two weeks after the Senate's final passage.
Prosecutor Raymond Pelrine told jurors in his opening statement Monday that Cooper loved Bromfield and "if he couldn't have her, no one could." The defense said the two were a couple at one time, but she got pregnant by another man when she went to college.
The re-trial is expected to last most of the week.
(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)