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Crime & Courts

Plainfield man gets 2 life sentences in death of pregnant woman

STURGEON BAY, Wis. – A 37-year-old Illinois man was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without parole for the murder of a pregnant woman and her fetus in Wisconsin.

Brian Cooper of Plainfield was sentenced in Door County Circuit Court Thursday. He was found guilty in May of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, the Door County Advocate reported.

Cooper killed 21-year-old Alisha Bromfield, also of Plainfield, when the two were at a Nasewaupee resort for his sister Kellie Stryker's wedding. He was not the father of Bromfield's baby but his attorney said the two had once had a romantic relationship. He was also Bromfield's boss.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge D. Todd Ehlers cited several things that troubled him, including Cooper's use of spy cameras to record Bromfield in both Door County and Plainfield, as well as his use of Bromfield's birthday for his cellphone password. The judge also noted the forensic pathologist's description of Bromfield's body after the attack.

"I consider, Mr. Cooper, the severity of the whole offense not just the strangulation but the assault you imposed on the body of Alisha Bromfield to be an extremely troubling factor," he said.

Cooper also received two additional years in prison and two years of extended supervision on top of the two life sentences for a third-degree sexual assault that followed the killing. He will pay restitution of more than $8,000. The district attorney said the funds will be used for funeral expenses.

Bromfield's parents and a friend talked about the effect of her death.

"The emotional pain is difficult to describe ... unless you've lost a child," her mother, Sherry Anicich, said.

Cooper read a written statement and two poems he wrote. He said he and Bromfield enjoyed eating together, taking work trips and watching "24."

"Along with all the remorse, regret and shame that streams down through my veins each and every day, I have come to the assumption that there are really no words I can truly say to express how sorry I am that such tragedy did happen and the fact that I did cause the death of Alisha and Ava Bromfield," he said.

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