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Lawyers clash over new trial for murder suspect

Both prosecutors and defense lawyers agree the Richmond conviction of Brandon Cooper is tainted by the prosecution’s failure to turn over evidence that might have helped Cooper’s defense. The two sides disagree about whether Cooper should face a new trial.

Prosecutor Christopher Jones failed to disclose that an alleged eyewitness who fingered Cooper as the killer previously had worked as a police informant. Jones acknowledged he overlooked the witness’ background as an informant, but he told Judge Bradley Cavedo he would not use that witness at a new trial.

Defense lawyers Jason Anthony and David Baugh said the prosecution failed to disclose information that undermined the testimony of another state witness, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. They argued Cooper was a victim of prosecutorial misconduct and should not have to stand trial again.

“If the law allows this level of misconduct and the remedy is that my client is put in front of another jury, then something’s critically wrong,” Anthony told the paper.

Cooper was convicted of shooting another man in an incident last February. Cavedo granted the motion for a new trial Monday.

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