Slain Woman's Family Continues Fight to End Drunk-Defense Law

Mom Sherry Anicich has launched a new petition urging Wisconsin lawmakers to strike down a voluntary intoxication law.

Alisha Bromfield and her unborn daughter, Ava Lucille, died in August 2012. Credit: File photo
Alisha Bromfield and her unborn daughter, Ava Lucille, died in August 2012. Credit: File photo
In just 48 hours, the family of a murdered Plainfield woman was able to collect more than 6,300 signatures asking legislators to strike down a Wisconsin law that's allowing her accused killer to use drunkenness as a defense.

Now, Alisha Bromfield's mom, Sherry Anicich, and relatives have launched another petition as they continue their fight.

Bromfield, 21, was murdered in Door County, Wisconsin, on Aug. 19, 2012. At the time of her death, the Joliet Catholic Academy graduate was pregnant with a baby girl she planned to name Ava Lucille. 

Prosecutors allege that 36-year-old Brian Cooper strangled Bromfield in a fit of rage after she refused to rekindle a romantic relationship with him, then sexually assaulted her body. Bromfield and Cooper were in Door County for the wedding of Cooper's sister.

Last June, a Wisconsin jury found Cooper guilty on a third-degree sex assault charge, but couldn't reach a decision on two first-degree intentional homicide charges.

That's because Cooper took advantage of a Wisconsin law that allows defendants to use "voluntary intoxication" as a defense, claiming he was too drunk to form intent.

After hearing from Anicich and supporters of Bromfield's family — including Cooper's sister — members of the Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 to pass a bill that would strike down the statute.

A Senate hearing on the bill is scheduled for next week.

On a Facebook page known as the Alisha and Ava Bromfield Law Initiative, Bromfield's family is urging supporters to sign a new petition asking lawmakers to pass the bill.

"Next week there will be a senate hearing on AB780/SB637," the family shared. "This bill is to eliminate voluntary intoxication as a defense for criminal liability. We HAVE MADE A NEW PETITION. This new petition will go to the House and Senate and and the Governor. This will be the last petition. The judicial committee was very impressed last week on how we were able to get 6,300 signatures in 48 hour. we are almost there. All of our hard work and dedication to Alisha and Ava is finally here. Please sign and share this Petition. To EVERYONE you know."


It was Kellie Stryker's wedding that brought her brother and Bromfield to Door County. Last week, she urged legislators to "do the right thing" and strike down the voluntary intoxication statute.

“I’m the sister of Brian Cooper, the man who cold-heartedly murdered Alisha and her unborn daughter, Ava Bromfield,” Stryker said, according to a Green Bay Press Gazette report. “His actions have caused a rippling effect that has left a hole in the lives of the people who stand with me today.”

Stryker called Cooper's mistrial the "ultimate injustice."

Cooper is scheduled to be retried on murder charges in the deaths of Bromfield and Ava Lucille on May 5.

"I promised my daughter at her funeral that I would not stop fighting for justice," Anicich said. "Although, Alisha’s voice was silenced, I need you to communicate for my daughter and ask you to sign this new petition that will go directly to the representatives, senators and the governor. Tell them in personal emails as well that this law must be changed to bring justice to my daughter and protect other victims of such crimes. Please do not fail her and others who have suffered at the hands of those that claim intoxication as a defense."



More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »