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Slain Woman's Family Continues Fight to End Drunk-Defense Law

Mom Sherry Anicich has launched a new petition urging Wisconsin lawmakers to strike down a voluntary intoxication law.

Alisha Bromfield and her unborn daughter, Ava Lucille, died in August 2012. Credit: File photo
Alisha Bromfield and her unborn daughter, Ava Lucille, died in August 2012. Credit: File photo
In just 48 hours, the family of a murdered Plainfield woman was able to collect more than 6,300 signatures asking legislators to strike down a Wisconsin law that's allowing her accused killer to use drunkenness as a defense.

Now, Alisha Bromfield's mom, Sherry Anicich, and relatives have launched another petition as they continue their fight.

Bromfield, 21, was murdered in Door County, Wisconsin, on Aug. 19, 2012. At the time of her death, the Joliet Catholic Academy graduate was pregnant with a baby girl she planned to name Ava Lucille. 

Prosecutors allege that 36-year-old Brian Cooper strangled Bromfield in a fit of rage after she refused to rekindle a romantic relationship with him, then sexually assaulted her body. Bromfield and Cooper were in Door County for the wedding of Cooper's sister.

Last June, a Wisconsin jury found Cooper guilty on a third-degree sex assault charge, but couldn't reach a decision on two first-degree intentional homicide charges.

That's because Cooper took advantage of a Wisconsin law that allows defendants to use "voluntary intoxication" as a defense, claiming he was too drunk to form intent.

After hearing from Anicich and supporters of Bromfield's family — including Cooper's sister — members of the Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 to pass a bill that would strike down the statute.


A Senate hearing on the bill is scheduled for next week.

On a Facebook page known as the Alisha and Ava Bromfield Law Initiative, Bromfield's family is urging supporters to sign a new petition asking lawmakers to pass the bill.

"Next week there will be a senate hearing on AB780/SB637," the family shared. "This bill is to eliminate voluntary intoxication as a defense for criminal liability. We HAVE MADE A NEW PETITION. This new petition will go to the House and Senate and and the Governor. This will be the last petition. The judicial committee was very impressed last week on how we were able to get 6,300 signatures in 48 hour. we are almost there. All of our hard work and dedication to Alisha and Ava is finally here. Please sign and share this Petition. To EVERYONE you know."

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

It was Kellie Stryker's wedding that brought her brother and Bromfield to Door County. Last week, she urged legislators to "do the right thing" and strike down the voluntary intoxication statute.

“I’m the sister of Brian Cooper, the man who cold-heartedly murdered Alisha and her unborn daughter, Ava Bromfield,” Stryker said, according to a Green Bay Press Gazette report. “His actions have caused a rippling effect that has left a hole in the lives of the people who stand with me today.”

Stryker called Cooper's mistrial the "ultimate injustice."

Cooper is scheduled to be retried on murder charges in the deaths of Bromfield and Ava Lucille on May 5.

"I promised my daughter at her funeral that I would not stop fighting for justice," Anicich said. "Although, Alisha’s voice was silenced, I need you to communicate for my daughter and ask you to sign this new petition that will go directly to the representatives, senators and the governor. Tell them in personal emails as well that this law must be changed to bring justice to my daughter and protect other victims of such crimes. Please do not fail her and others who have suffered at the hands of those that claim intoxication as a defense."

Related:
Eric S March 07, 2014 at 08:24 AM
Vic, the jury can only do as the law allows. But....there is a process called "jury nullification" in which a jury, as a whole, may decide a law is wrong. This fact is never told to a jury during instructions. This Wisconsin law does not seem to take into consideration the fact the guy choose to become intoxicated. All actions after that are indeed his responsibilty regardless of the failure to think through an action. Another idiotic WI law is that a first time drunk driving arrest won't lead to a conviction. The first time is not a crime. They only hold you till you're sober or someone picks you up.
Jeanne Nelli March 07, 2014 at 11:03 AM
has the country gone brain dead.
Army vet March 07, 2014 at 12:54 PM
This type of thing happens everyday. The court system is broken. It's sad. I feel awful for this family and hope the karma train pays this offender a visit in the prison shower
Jamie Adair March 08, 2014 at 05:38 AM
He could'nt get what he wanted (her) so he decided that if he can't have her then nobody can. He should be fried.
Debbie Zolnierowicz March 08, 2014 at 10:12 AM
"Prosecutors allege that 36-year-old Brian Cooper strangled Bromfield in a fit of rage after she refused to rekindle a romantic relationship with him, then sexually assaulted her body. Bromfield and Cooper were in Door County for the wedding of Cooper's sister." The sick thing is that he admitted to this crime - it is not an allegation. What the jury got hung on were the instructions regarding the ability to form intent while intoxicated. His actions leading up to this murder also showed intent, but again, he has to form intent in the moment of the act. The law is wrong, it's unjust, and it must be overturned. Please sign the petition (the link is in the article) and share it with your friends. You do not need to be a Wisconsin resident to sign. Please do this. Alisha was a wonderful young lady, with a full life ahead of her. While overturning this law will not specifically help in Brian Cooper's retrial in May, it will ensure that her voice IS heard and other monsters like him will not get away with murder.

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