New Lod District Court 370.
(photo credit: Yonah Jeremy Bob)
Lod District Court Judge Avraham Yaakov on Thursday told the prosecution that
its evidence against Shimon Cooper for murdering his first wife is
Despite the finding, Yaakov still ordered Cooper remanded
to police custody until the end of the proceedings on the basis of what it said
were stronger allegations against him for murdering his third wife, Jenny
Yaakov’s ruling was not a final determination or an acquittal for
Shimon regarding his third wife, as the ruling was based only on an initial
review of the evidence for the purposes of deciding whether to remand Shimon to
On April 29, the panel of judges handling the actual trial of
the case (Yaakov’s ruling Thursday was made solely by him, not the full panel,
and only on issues of remanding to custody) already approved adding to the
indictment the murder of his first wife, Orit Cooperschmidt. That same panel
will eventually need to make a final decision about whether to convict or acquit
Shimon for each charge of murder of his former wives.
Cooper is also
suspected of attempting to kill his second wife.
Recently Shimon appealed
to the Supreme Court on his being remanded until the end of the proceedings, a
decision Yaakov made before the amended indictment with the murder of
Because the appeal was filed before Yaakov (who has
been the single judge dealing exclusively with extending detention issues) had
even initially reviewed the amended indictment with the added murder of
Cooperschmidt, the Supreme Court said it could not rule on the appeal until
Yaakov made a new ruling about remand, taking into account the new murder
Yaakov’s decision to disqualify the new murder charge from
consideration on the issue of extending Cooper’s detention to the end of the
proceedings, but to maintain his detention based on the first charge, could now
lead Shimon to return to the Supreme Court for a final ruling on his extended
But the bigger question is whether the prosecution, given such
a hostile (legal) reception from Yaakov on its evidence for the added murder
charge regarding Cooperschmidt, will drop that charge entirely, or will hope for
a better result once the full panel has heard all of the evidence, including
testimony of all the witnesses (Yaakov’s review of the evidence included
transcripts of police interrogations.) As Yaakov rejected the new murder charge
based on a legal finding that the prosecution cannot prove the murder beyond a
reasonable doubt where it has no theory for how Cooperschmidt died and its only
real evidence is comparing the similarities in Cooperschmidt’s death to those of
Jenny’s death, the prosecution’s case could be an uphill battle and distract
from what Yaakov called its stronger evidence in the murder of Jenny.
commonalities between the murders include: Shimon carrying on relationships with
two women (married to at least one) at the same time, without either fully
knowing; both women being young, in good shape and having no apparent reason for
suicide; ostensibly lying that the eventually dead woman was depressed, despite
no evidence; both women being found in what appeared to be a staged scene of
drug overdose, despite no finding of the drugs in their body in the autopsies;
and financial gains for Shimon from both deaths.
Still, the court found
that absent a theory of how Cooperschmidt did die (which it has with Jenny), the
prosecution would not be able to convict Shimon of that murder.
A web of
lies, scams and a fictional story about a Mossad hit overseas are at the center
of the case, initially filed in November.
The new murder charge arose
from additional investigative activities that shed new light on Shimon’s alleged
method of operation in general, and regarding his first wife in
In the original indictment, the Central District Attorney’s
Office alleged that the 51-yearold Cooper was a serial con man who seduced and
married his third wife, Jenny Cooper, and then murdered her on the night of
August 20-21, 2009.
Originally, police had closed the Cooper case, until
Channel 2 aired a program about the alleged murders on March 25, 2010, which
caused a public uproar and led to a reopening of the investigation and the