Doctor charged in knife deaths of partner, son
newsobserver.com / published Weds August 17, 2011
BY CHRISTINE CLARRIDGE - Seattle Times
SEATTLE -- Former Duke University doctor Louis Chao Chen was charged Tuesday with two counts of aggravated murder in connection with the deaths of his partner and their nearly 3-year-old son last week in a Seattle high-rise apartment.
If convicted, Chen, 39, could face either life in prison or the death penalty.
The bodies of Eric Cooper, 29, and the couple's son, Cooper Chen, were found Thursday in their penthouse in Seattle's First Hill neighborhood. In charging documents, prosecutors allege that Cooper was stabbed at least 100 times, including on his face, neck, chest, back and hands. The child suffered numerous cuts to his neck, documents say.
Chen, Cooper and the child had just moved to Seattle from Durham in July. They spent two years in Durham while Chen had a two-year clinical fellowship in endocrinology at Duke. Cooper apparently stayed at their Ivy Meadow Lane home with the child while Chen worked.
Cooper Chen was conceived with Chen's sperm and the egg of an anonymous donor, then was carried to term by a surrogate mother. When the child was born nearly three years ago, he was adopted by Eric Cooper.
The two men met about 12 years ago when Chen was attending the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Cooper was a 17-year-old high-school senior in Tinley Park, Ill.
The men moved in 2000 to California, where Chen did his residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Diego. They also had lived in Minneapolis, where Chen was granted a faculty appointment at the University of Minnesota and served as an attending physician at the VA Hospital, while Cooper earned his bachelor's degree from the university.
The child was born while they were living in Minnesota.
After the move to Durham, Chen obtained a grant to study diabetics with gastric problems, according to publications.
READ: LOUIS CHAO CHEN KILLS ERIC COOPER AND SON