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Bill would wipe out "voluntary intoxication" defense in homicide cases

Brian Cooper appears in Door County court in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Brian Cooper appears in Door County court in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Under a new Wisconsin bill, suspects could no longer escape murder convictions by claiming they were too drunk to know what they were doing.

Assembly Republican Steve Nass of Whitewater wants to remove "voluntary intoxication" as an allowable defense in homicide cases.

The bill got a public hearing Thursday before the Assembly's judiciary committee.

It's in response to the case of Brian Cooper of Illinois, who allegedly raped and strangled a pregnant Alisha Bromfield at a Door County resort after she rejected his request for a deeper love relationship.

At his trial in 2012, jurors from Wood County could not agree to convict Cooper for murder, after he claimed he was too drunk to have intended to murder Bromfield and her unborn child.

At the hearing on the new bill, Cooper's own sister Kellie Stryker called the hung jury, "the ultimate injustice." She urged lawmakers to stop letting people use alcohol as an excuse. Bromfield's mother said the defense kept Cooper from being found guilty.

The 37-year-old Cooper was convicted of sexual assault, but there was a hung jury on two first-degree intentional homicide counts.

A retrial on those is scheduled to start May 2nd. Nass' bill would affect future cases, but not Cooper's. 

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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