A bungling police officer ‘accidentally’ erased all the evidence contained on a cell phone belonging to a murder suspect, it was revealed yesterday. At the trial of Brad Cooper in Raleigh in the United States, who has been charged with the murder of his wife Nancy, Detective Jim Young has admitted that after gaining a court order from AT & T in order to access the password protected phone, he received instructions on how to access the material from an AT & T representative whose name he did not record, and then attempted to do so some time later based on the memory of those instructions. Not even seeking help from anyone with expertise in cell phones in his own department, as he admitted to defense attorney Howard Kurtz, he entered incorrect passwords on the cell phone repeatedly, even continuing after the cell phone gave him a warning that if he did so, the phone would erase all records. He also made no attempt to contact AT & T again. “There’s no way to reach the same representative twice,” he claimed.
“Did it occur to you at the time that you were deleting evidence off that phone?” Kurtz demanded.
The prosecution says that Cooper strangled his wife in the July of 2008, but defense lawyers claim that Cooper is innocent and has been the victim of police laziness, who decided he was guilty from the off and ignored any evidence to the contrary. Young’s bungling with the cell phone is not likely to hurt the defense’s argument.