Recording puts trial location in doubt

Published July 16, 2006

BONITA SPRINGS - A man accused of killing a young couple cannot receive a fair trial in Lee County after a Fort Myers newspaper leaked audio recordings of his interrogation on its Web site, defense attorneys said.

Fred D. Cooper Jr., 27, of Bonita Springs does not believe he would get a fair trail because of the extensive media coverage, according to an affidavit. His attorneys asked a Lee County circuit judge on Friday to move the trial outside the judicial circuit's five-county region.

Cooper, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed burglary, is accused of killing Steven and Michelle Andrews.

The News-Press posted leaked audio recordings of detectives' interviews with Cooper and sworn statements from witnesses on its Web site, along with news articles, pictures and Web logs published since the couple's bodies were found Dec. 27.

Prosecutors declined comment.

Cooper is being held without bond in the Lee County jail.