Visiting judge issues several rulings in real estate agent murder cases


A visiting judge Thursday dispensed with several motions for one defendant in a capital-murder case, while continuing an evidence-suppression hearing for the other in the 2010 case of a slain real-estate agent.

Judge Lee Sinclair agreed to a defense request to move a suppression hearing that was slated for Thursday for 25-year-old Grant Cooper to July 31 because a witness defense attorneys needed was not available Thursday.

The judge said that will not affect the timetable to bring the case to trial. Jury-selection in his case was postponed from Oct. 22 to Oct. 24.

Judge Sinclair also ruled against defense motions to dismiss death-penalty specifications against co-defendant Robert Brooks, 29, and to change the venue of the trial.

Brooks and Cooper each face the death penalty if convicted in the Sept. 20, 2010, death of 67-year-old Vivian Martin.

Police say Martin was lured to a home she was trying to sell in the 3100 block of Nelson Avenue by Brooks and Cooper, who then killed her and set the house on fire to cover up the crime.

Read more about the case in Friday's Vindicator or on

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