Murdered Woman's Family to Testify Against Intoxication-As-A-Defense Law

Alisha Bromfield's mother will be in Wisconsin Thursday to support a bill that would strike down a statute allowing defendants to claim they were too drunk to form intent.

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
The family of a slain Plainfield woman is pleading with Wisconsin lawmakers to strike down a statute that's allowed her accused killer to use voluntary intoxication as a defense.

On Thursday, they will testify during a Judiciary Committee hearing in Madison in support of a bill that could change the law.

Alisha Bromfield, 21, was killed in August 2012 after attending a wedding in Door County, Wisconsin, with friend Brian Cooper, also of Plainfield. At the time of her death, the Joliet Catholic Academy graduate was more than six months pregnant with a daughter she had planned to name Ava Lucille.

Cooper, who is accused of strangling Bromfield in a fit of rage after she refused to rekindle a romantic relationship with him, claimed he was so drunk at the time of the slaying that he was unable to form intent. Cooper was also accused of sexually assaulting Bromfield after her death.

In June 2013, a jury was unable to reach a decision on two first-degree intentional homicide charges, convicting 36-year-old Cooper only of third-degree sexual assault. 

Bromfield's mother, Sherry Anicich, and family have been campaigning to amend the law.

The family will speak up in support of Wisconsin Assembly Bill 780, which would eliminate the statute. The bill is set to go before the committee at 11 a.m. Thursday, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

While Anicich had originally hoped the amended statute could be applied retroactively to Cooper's case, she said she found out last week that that isn't possible, according to the Gazette.

“This really isn’t about her. It’s about him. They need to change this (statute) so another family doesn’t have to go through this,” she said

A Change.org petition supporting the family's efforts has gotten more than 3,200 signatures, and they hope to get 5,000 by Thursday. The family has also created a Facebook page, the Alisha and Ava Bromfield Law Initiative, dedicated to the cause.

"Alisha was viciously strangled as she pleaded for her and her baby's life," the page says. "Not guilty by voluntary intoxication should never be a defense."

In an online plea, Anicich writes:

"This criminal that took the life of my daughter and granddaughter was protected by the Wisconsin statute 939.42, which allows voluntary intoxication to be used as a defense for murder. 

"I made a promise at my daughter’s funeral that I would not stop fighting for justice and have attended every motion hearing. I will not give up! Brian Cooper and others who use intoxication as a defense, must be held accountable for their crimes and be sentenced accordingly. It is unbearable to think that my family must once again hear graphic testimony, view footage of his confession and the horrible things he did to my daughter and unborn granddaughter and see her lifeless body. I am haunted by these images. My daughter no longer has a voice.  I beg you to move this bill forward to bring justice to my daughter and protect other victims of such crimes."

Me February 27, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Brian Cooper stated serveral times that he planned to kill her at least 2-3 hours before hand. He tied cords to the legs of the bed. If this is not first degree murder then I dont know what is. He is using this law to get away with it. He never proved how "drunk" he was at the time.
Steven Nawara February 27, 2014 at 03:23 PM
If what "Me" says is correct, I retract my previous comment. That would be a clear case of premeditation and justify a first degree charge. However, that would also suggest that alcohol was not really a factor - he was planning to kill anyway. Why would his intoxication matter, then?
Me February 27, 2014 at 03:56 PM
It is true. Alisha is my neice. He was drinking the night he murdered and then raped her. In his taped intrrveiws with police and in his 911 call, he clearly stated that he planned it for at least 2-3 beforehand. Wisconsin has a law that allows you to use voluntary intoxication as a defense. As with all cold blooded killers, they will use any defense that could keep them out of prison. If he is found not guilty because of this law, he walks away a free man because he was "drunk". He has not been able to prove "how drunk" he was that night. This is why we are trying to change the law. No one should be able to walk away a free person after brutally killing and then rapping a person, no matter how much they drank.
Brian Kocher February 27, 2014 at 04:15 PM
I hope the bastard burns in hell.
Charlene Horner February 28, 2014 at 09:30 PM
Tim's comment doesn't make any sense. Did I miss something?


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