20 Aug 2014
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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.

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

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