Being Drunk is No Excuse if Bill Becomes Law - WBAY

Being Drunk is No Excuse if Bill Becomes Law

Updated:
Madison - The family of a Door County murder victim pleaded with Wisconsin lawmakers to eliminate intoxication as a valid criminal defense.

Prosecutors say Brian Cooper, 36, killed Alisha Bromfield, 21, who was six months pregnant, at a Door County hotel in August, 2012. They say he admitted both on a 911 call and in interviews with investigators to strangling her then sexually assaulting her.

He was charged with intentional homicide.

But during his trial, Cooper's attorney argued Cooper was too drunk to develop intent.

It resulted in a hung jury, and Cooper was only convicted of third-degree sexual assault. He's scheduled to be re-tried on the murder charges later this year.

Thursday a judiciary committee held a public hearing in Madison on an Assembly bill that would remove the wording dealing with voluntary intoxication as a defense from state statute.

Lawmakers heard from both Bromfield's and Cooper's relatives.

Bromfield's mother, Sherry Anicich, told lawmakers, "This law allows murderers like Brian Cooper escape justice and sets a horrible precedence for other criminals."

Kelly Stryker, Cooper's sister, argued, "Would a reasonable person with the same level of intoxication be capable of doing something so horrific? The answer is no."

The committee's chair says he'll do everything he can to fast-track the bill, but lawmakers failed to pass a similar amendment in 2007.

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