OR v. Crampton-Brophy: Romance Novelist Murder Trial

Posted at 10:30 AM, April 1, 2022 and last updated 3:13 PM, May 25, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. (Court TV) — A jury has found Nancy Crampton-Brophy guilty in the 2018 death of her husband, Dan Brophy. The defendant was charged with murder in the second-degree with a firearm – constituting domestic violence. Sentencing has been scheduled for Monday, June 13.

 

ORIGINAL STORY

PORTLAND, Ore. (Court TV) — Romance author Nancy Crampton-Brophy is accused of killing her husband in 2018.

Students at the now-closed Oregon Culinary Institute found the body of Chef Daniel Brophy on June 2. He had been shot in the back and chest.

In this image from video, defendant Nancy Brophy sits in court on Monday, April 4, 2022, in Portland, Oregon. (Court TV)

As the author penned a tribute to her late husband on social media, police began their investigation.

Authorities say the couple had fallen behind on their mortgage. Nancy stood to inherit more than a million dollars from his insurance and worker’s compensation policies.

Surveillance video surrounding the culinary school revealed a minivan similar to the one Nancy drove the morning Daniel was killed. Investigators say Nancy claimed to be home during the killing.

A search of Nancy’s computer revealed more suspicious activity. Police say they found evidence of gun part purchases. They also discovered an eyebrow raising article she had written titled “How to Murder Your Husband.”

Her defense will likely argue the article is tongue-in-cheek and not meant to be taken seriously, but the state prosecutor isn’t joking.

Nancy, now 71, has been charged with second-degree murder. She maintains her innocence and has pled not guilty.

DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

DAY 28 – 5/25/22

  • A jury has found Nancy Crampton-Brophy guilty in the 2018 death of her husband, Dan Brophy.
  • The defendant was charged with murder in the second-degree with a firearm – constituting domestic violence.
  • Sentencing has been scheduled for Monday, June 13.
  • WATCH: 5/25/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Verdict

DAY 27 – 5/24/22

  • Prosecution rebuttal delivered by Shawn Overstreet
    • One of the first points he brought up to dispute was the defense’s assertion that the Brophys were interested in living in Vernonia (about an hour’s drive outside of Portland). Overstreet said there was no evidence of this – specifically no evidence on the price range of the houses they were looking at. He countered Kristen Winemiller’s point that if the Brophys sold their Beaverton, Oregon home, they would get $400,000. Overstreet said the house ended up selling for $565,000 which probably resulted in $200,000 in profit.
    • Overstreet also brought up Nancy’s alleged visit to the public shooting range. He said the defense confused the dates she went. He agreed with the defense and said March 26 is when Nancy didn’t have time to shoot. But he added that Nancy was probably doing recon on the place that day. He then said it was on March 27 when Nancy probably went out to practice shooting.
    • Another point Overstreet emphasized was the Brophys finances. Unlike the defense, Overstreet said the state believed the Brophys were in clear financial trouble and that Nancy knew that as well and plotted to kill Dan so that she could achieve the lifestyle she wanted. He said it’s easy to see how Nancy could know she and her husband were in financial trouble because she was the one who managed the finances.
    • Overstreet then brought up a new point, that Nancy drove her own van because that’s the car she had and it would be suspicious if she rented or borrowed a car. And that she was probably aware of all of the security cameras in the area which is why she primarily kept her car in the front area of OCI on the morning of June 2, 2018. Overstreet also mentioned that it wasn’t likely she realized that the surrounding business’ interior cameras would be able to spot her.
    • One of the last arguments Overstreet mentioned centered on Anndrea Jacobs, Nancy’s former cellmate. He said Jacobs didn’t want to come forward, the state brought her forward and all she had to say was that Nancy had a slip of the tongue. In exchange, he said Jacobs was publicly shamed and badgered from Lisa Maxfield and received threats to her safety and well-being.
    • Overstreet ended the state’s rebuttal by honing in on a few of the defense’s/Nancy’s words. He said that the sparkle in Nancy’s eyes were not of her fond memories with Dan but are crocodile tears to get sympathy, that Nancy is correct in saying anyone is capable of murder even her, and that you can’t defend against the truth.
  • The jury deliberated for 5 1/2 hours before going home for the evening.

DAY 26 – 5/23/22

  • Prosecution closing argument delivered by Shawn Overstreet
    • He started with Nancy’s testimony. He pointed out how relaxed she appeared when responding to her attorney’s questions and how uncomfortable she appeared when responding to the state’s questions. He noted the point when she turned to her attorney on cross and asked, did you say that?
    • He also seized upon Nancy’s memory issues. He characterized this as the ultimate alibi.
    • He then proceeded to go through all the surveillance videos that showed Nancy was in the OCI area the morning of June 2, 2018 when Dan died, and attempted to anticipate any unanswered questions. He suggested Nancy was not there to write but to wait for Dan to drive in, and that she was driving around looking for a clear vantage point to be able to view Dan but not be seen. He also suggested that after Nancy killed Dan, she went home and approached her neighbors, asking them if they had seen her dogs, as a way to make sure she was seen near her home that morning.
    • Overstreet then got into Nancy’s interview with detectives and how it was odd she didn’t ask many questions about Dan after finding out he was dead.
    • Overstreet also tried to deflect suspicion away from Oscar Taylor, a homeless man in the area, stating it wouldn’t make sense for Taylor to kill Dan, not steal anything, and then be seen canning outside OCI right after.
    • Regarding the firearms and finances in this case, Overstreet questioned why Nancy would spend roughly $1,500 on gun parts, some of which she already had, when they didn’t have a substantial amount of money coming in, why their insurance premiums continued to be paid despite this lack of cash flow, and why the mortgage was being left by the wayside.
    • He then ended on one last suggestion, that because Nancy and Dan didn’t have a substantial retirement plan and since that didn’t sit well with Nancy – who dreamed of living as an expat in Portugal – she murdered him.
  • Defense closing argument delivered by Kristen Wienmiller
    • She emphasized the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. She added, to convict, you must be certain.
    • She then painted a vivid picture of the Brophy’s marriage, how much love they had for one another based on the testimony of various witnesses.
    • She criticized the state for not providing evidence for motive. She indicated their theory of Nancy wanting an insurance payout was weak, that it made sense for Dan to be insured for $815,000.
    • She also said that the Brophys weren’t desperate for cash, Dan couldn’t care less about retiring, and that if Nancy was all about money she could’ve moved on from her marriage.
    • In addressing the firearms in this case. Winemiller said that Nancy didn’t hide her thoughts about making these purchases. She said Nancy used money from the joint account she shared with Dan, that she told her friend Tania about purchasing a firearm, and also mentioned this to Dan’s mother, Karen.
    • Winemiller even leaned into Anndrea Jacobs’ testimony that Jacobs’ suspicion that Nancy almost admitted to shooting Dan was untruthful. Winemiller said point blank that Jacobs is a liar.
    • She then turned her attention to the incident at OCI and suggested it could’ve been a burglary. She said Dan’s red book bag was never recovered and that it didn’t appear that the liquor had been properly inventoried.
    • She even pointed to Oscar Taylor, stating he had admitted to taking a cabernet or candle, implying he could’ve been another suspect.
    • Towards the end of her closing argument, Winemiller brought up the theme that Nancy was known as a planner. She questioned how, since this was the case, why Nancy wouldn’t remember to drive incognito around OCI/not use her minivan or check for nearby surveillance cameras.
    • She also highlighted Overstreet’s cross examination of Nancy. She said he pushed and pushed until Nancy began to acquiesce. She said if Nancy didn’t know the real answer to Overstreet’s questions, out of exhaustion, she would just agree with him.
    • For her final few points, Winemiller turned the jury’s attention back to the Brophys relationship. She said Nancy’s eyes twinkled and sparkled when she talked about him. Nancy loved him. From there she thanked the jury and reminded them of their awesome responsibility in deciding this case.

DAY 25 – 5/20/22

  • Proffer: Rosaline Lee
    • Explained defendant-government cooperation procedures
    • Judge ruled to not let Lee’s testimony come in because he believes there’s sufficient evidence to show that Anndrea Jacobs was not trying to help the prosecution.
  • Proffer: Alicia Hercher
    • Attorney whose client is friends with Nancy at Multnomah County Inverness Jail
    • Hercher said she presented the opportunity to her client, Cathryn Wells (sp?), to share any admissions Nancy had made with her while at Inverness.
    • Hercher said this greatly upset Wells. Hercher said Wells was furious and yelled that she would not cooperate.
  • Donna Maddux
    • Prosecuted Anndrea Jacobs on criminal conduct related to claims of embezzlement
    • Maddux said she found Jacobs to be consistently untruthful.
  • Michael Howard
    • Howard is a forensic scientist who specializes in crime scene reconstruction.
    • He said he performed a test to determine the distance between the shooter and Dan but could not come to a conclusion on this.
  • Proffer: David Jeffers
    • Jeffers is the Deputy Director of the public defender’s office in Marion County, Oregon.
    • He said he has represented clients who have received benefits for their cooperation.
    • He said in his experience, his clients cooperate first and are then offered a benefit. In each of the cases, his clients were not told what the benefit was until after they cooperated.
    • Judge ruled he would not allow this testimony in.
  • Robert McCarthy
    • McCarthy is a urologist at Grande Ronde Hospital.
    • He said he hired Jacobs to work at his private practice. This played a role in Jacobs federal case where she was convicted.
    • He said he found Jacobs to be extraordinarily untruthful.
  • Rhonda Slavik
    • Slavik said Jacobs used to be her brother’s business partner.
    • She said Jacobs is not capable of telling the truth.
  • Dr. Curtis Haynie
    • Dr. Haynie is a dentist based in Oregon.
    • He said he hired Jacobs to help with the medical billing at his practice.
    • He said Jacobs is a compulsive liar.
  • Defense rests. Closing arguments set for Monday, May 23.

DAY 24 – 5/19/22

  • Dr. Suzanne Best continues her testimony
    • Dr. Best said, according to Dr. Warford’s examination of Nancy, that Nancy responds to crises with a calm and rational demeanor. Dr. Best also said that people who are like this don’t usually disassociate. She said disassociation is an emotion-based response.
  • Robert Azorr, who analyzed the Brophy’s finances, is recalled
    • Azorr put together a seasonality index of Nancy and Dan’s prospective income. He said he looked at the differences between the Brophys income between 2017 and 2018 to determine this. He clarified that Dan’s income was lower in 2018 because his Avenir deposits were less and he was paying back a loan.
  • Kelsey Guay, who analyzed the Brophy’s cell phone activity, is recalled
    • Guay said she looked at cell data between November 2017 – June 2018 from cell towers in the Vernonia, Oregon area and determined that no records indicated Nancy had accessed those cell sites within that time period.
  • Former OCI president Brian Wilke (recalled)
    • Wilke said he saw Nancy arrive to OCI on June 2, 2018. He said he saw her behind the police tape on the northeast corner of 17th St. and Jefferson near OCI’s corporate office and that Woody Bailey was behind her. He said that two police officers came and he introduced them to Nancy before she was escorted to a van.
  • Former OCI student Clarinda Perez (recalled)
    • The state explained to the court that Perez was recalled to rebut testimony on her interactions with Nancy at the OCI memorial in August 2018. The judge sustained the defense’s objection to this. He agreed with the defense that this was not offered as part of the defense’s case but that this testimony came out on cross, therefore it is not subject to rebuttal.
  • The prosecution rests its rebuttal case
  • Richard Hursey, investigated Multnomah County Inverness Jail
    • Hursey visited the Multnomah County Inverness Jail, specifically dorms 4, 6, 7, and 13. He took photos of where the attorney phones are located in each of the dorms and measured the distances between the phones and nearby common areas.
  • Proffer – Rosalind Lee, explained defendant-government cooperation procedures
    • Lee explained that there are federal sentencing guidelines that take into a variety of factors (e.g., severity of the crime, a defendant’s role in the crime, criminal history, etc.) She elaborated that cooperation is built into the sentencing guidelines and that discussions about this come up frequently.
    • She said that for cooperation agreements, there are procedures to keep these out of the public record.
    • The judge will rule on the admission of this testimony Friday.

DAY 23 – 5/18/22

  • Memory expert Dr. Daniel Reisberg testifies
    • Dr. Reisberg said that if a person with retrograde amnesia is shown photos of an event, they can be led to a memory that isn’t completely accurate.
    • On cross he admitted that motivation can play a role in fostering false memories.
  • The defense rests
  • Realtor Paul Johnston testifies
    • Johnston said he conveyed to Nancy the lengthy and difficult process of subdividing land. He said after relaying this, Nancy didn’t express interest in going through that.
    • He also estimated the Brophy property to be priced at $600,000 – $700,000.
  • Anndrea Jacobs, who was in jail with the defendant, testifies
    • Jacobs said she has been in custody at a federal women’s minimum security prison camp in Bryan, Texas.
    • She said she was previously housed at the Multnomah County jail.
    • She was incarcerated in May 2020 and entered a plea deal on September 1, 2020 to four separate counts – filing a false tax return in 2011, impersonating an IRS employee, aggravated identity theft and furtherance of wire fraud and bank fraud.
    • She said she didn’t want to testify and doesn’t know if she had a choice to testify. She said she knows she won’t get a reduced sentence from testifying and doesn’t have hope her situation will get better in doing so.
    • She said she and Nancy were in the same dorm at two separate Multnomah County jails.
    • She said she talked to Nancy daily.
    • She said one time Nancy had a copy of a People magazine issue which featured a write-up on her own criminal case.
    • She said she advised Nancy to take advantage of the media coverage of Dan’s death to help her find Dan’s killer. She said that Nancy insisted on not having to find and prove who killed her husband, just that she wasn’t the one who did it.
    • She said she asked about Dan’s manner of death to which Nancy detailed Dan was shot twice in the heart. Jacobs said she noticed Nancy started to say “I…” but then corrected herself to say “It” [the distance between the firearm and Dan] was this far. In saying this, Jacobs held her arms out in front of her to visually show the distance she was talking about.
  • Clinical and forensic psychologist Dr. Suzanne Best testifies
    • Dr. Best’s assessment of Nancy is that she presents herself in a favorable light, at times unrealistically. Dr. Best also said Nancy doesn’t admit to basic human flaws.
    • Regarding amnesia and whether or not it is associated with trauma, Dr. Best said people with a history of childhood trauma or mental illness can disassociate. She added that Nancy denied any history of childhood trauma and did not suffer from mental illness.
    • Dr. Best elaborated on disassociation. She said it’s pathological and that Nancy’s character seems more controlled.

DAY 22 – 5/17/22

  • Nancy Brophy continues her testimony
    • On cross-examination, prosecutor Shawn Overstreet approached Nancy several times with the firearm/firearms parts involved in the case.
    • Nancy insisted the Glock 19 ghost gun kit and the Glock 17 slide and barrel were for research purposes and the Glock 17 was for protection. At one point she compared gun parts to omelet ingredients. She said eggs and flour don’t make an omelet until you put it together, just like a gun kit isn’t a gun until you put it together.
    • Regarding the cardboard box the Glock 19 ghost gun kit was found in (in a rented storage unit), Nancy said she purposefully marked the box to indicate it had the ghost gun kit for the police’s benefit. Overstreet questioned why she would do this and not just tell the police she had a ghost gun kit and point them to the storage unit in the first place. Nancy indicated she didn’t want to tell them how to do their job.
    • She admitted she played with the Glock 17 slide and barrel even though she told police she never touched it. She clarified on cross that she was exaggerating in her previous answer.
    • Overstreet questioned why Nancy bought a Glock 17 slide and barrel from eBay when she already had a Glock 17 slide and barrel from the gun show. Nancy said she was fascinated by guns and was purchasing gun parts for research.
    • She admitted she was driving around the OCI area an hour before Dan was killed. Overstreet asked why she wasn’t challenging him on that. Nancy said she has more things to challenge than her driving around. She later said she woke up early to get coffee but doesn’t remember getting coffee, yet she also said she knew she was going to be back home before Dan left for work. She then apologized for her confusing testimony. She said she tends to reconstruct things as she goes.
    • She conceded she wasn’t successful at writing books. She said only one of her books had been published by a publishing company.
    • Overstreet reads excerpts from her books – The Wrong Husband, The Wrong Seal, Hell on the Heart.
    • She agreed with the statement that anyone is capable of murder. She said she absolutely believed that, especially when people are pushed into a corner.
    • On re-direct, Nancy said the Glock 17 slide and barrel that she purchased from eBay was supposed to be located in her upstairs bedroom closet near the Glock 19 ghost gun kit.
    • She emphasized that on June 2, 2018, she didn’t have a strained relationship with Dan and that that time was one of the happiest periods of their lives.
  • Sergio Perez, who compiled video of Oscar Taylor’s movements around OCI, is recalled to the stand
    • Perez indicated certain points of views of the videos he obtained are distorted.
  • Grant Stringer, who visited the North Fork Wolf Creek gun range, testifies
    • Stringer said there are four lanes. He said from the intersection of Highway 26 and the dirt road to the gun range, it is a six-minute drive. He also said it took him about a minute to get from lane to lane.
  • Karen Lawless, who consults on criminal cases where DNA is involved, testifies
    • Lawless said evidence can’t be tested for both DNA and fingerprints.
    • She also said if a person with gloves loaded ammo into a magazine, it would be possible to extract DNA from the glove. Though, if the person didn’t touch the fingers of the glove, extracting DNA would be less likely of a possibility.
  • Arthur Hively, who reviewed activity on the Brophy’s HP computer, testifies
    • Hively said on June 2, 2018, at 9:02 AM, a flash drive was plugged into the Brophys HP computer and documents were copied or saved onto this the computer’s hard drive.

DAY 21 – 5/16/22

  • Defendant Nancy Brophy takes the stand
    • In describing her relationship with Dan, Nancy characterized herself as a chatterer as opposed to Dan who is quiet. Nancy added that, in conversations, she would often go off on tangents. She jokingly said she never met a rabbit hole she didn’t like.
    • She emphasized Dan’s commitment to her and her commitment to him. When Dan died, she said it was like she lost an arm.
    • She attempted to explain their finances struggles between 2014 – 2017. She said several of Dan’s income streams at this time came to a halt. Not to mention there were various medical issues between them and their dog (Dan’s implanted tooth – $4,000, her eye surgery – $8,000, and treatment for their dog’s seizure – $2,000).
    • In response to these medical issues, Nancy explained she had composed, what she calls, the Dearest Dan letter – a letter explaining all of the long-term financial plans to Dan. She said she did this in case Dan needed a clear picture on how to proceed forward financially.
    • Regarding the house, Nancy said she was originally on both the deed and the mortgage, but in 2004 was removed when she and Dan refinanced the house to support her catering business. After sharing this, Nancy admitted that when this happened, she didn’t know she had fallen off the deed.
    • Going back to her and Dan’s 2014 – 2017 financial struggles, Nancy said she and Dan had taken money from Dan’s 401K to fix the house up to be subdivided and sold.
    • As for a life insurance policy taken out on Dan, Nancy said that if he didn’t die by age 78, they would’ve received around $67,000, which is the amount of money they put into the life insurance policy account by paying their monthly premiums.
    • Turning to the Glock 19 build kit that Nancy bought, she said she bought it because she was working on a story where a character received a single gun part in the mail each time their character arc developed.
    • Turning to the Glock 17 gun that Nancy bought, she said she bought it because she was worried about Dan’s safety while mushroom hunting. She said that when he died, she never hated that gun more. She said it was supposed to protect them and it didn’t.
    • Turning to the Glock 17 slide that Nancy bought, she said she bought it because she was obsessed with gun parts. When asked where this was, she said she thinks it was either in the storage unit or the house and that she thought someone would’ve found it when they cleaned these areas out.
    • She said that after Dan’s death, Foresters told her to get a letter of exoneration for the death claim on Dan.
    • Regarding the surveillance footage that captured what appears to be Nancy in her minivan in the OCI area around the time of Dan’s death, Nancy said she had no memory of that but does have a memory of herself sitting in an empty parking lot writing when she saw a guy walking back and forth. She said she moved so she wouldn’t be distracted and could focus on her writing.
    • She emphasized the difficulty of that 2018 summer stating that not just Dan died, so did her brother and her uncle. Then she said she was arrested.
    • She explained that she didn’t grieve outwardly because she hates public grief. She said it’s worthless and doesn’t accomplish anything. She addressed her emotional moments today stating she’s a watering pot gone astray and that she’s embarrassed about it.
  • On cross-examination,…
    • She clarified Susan Estrada’s testimony. She said Estrada’s memory was off and that Estrada wasn’t with her when she asked for a letter of exoneration.
    • She said on June 2, 2018, she doesn’t know how she got Starbucks. She said Dan didn’t bring it to her because he had live fire and wouldn’t stop to get her coffee on this day. Previously, Estrada testified that, in the morning, Nancy would stay in bed writing and Dan would bring her coffee from Starbucks. Estrada also testified that Nancy would get a second coffee but would get this cup herself.
    • She added more color to the differences between her and Dan. She indicated she’s impulsive and likes to jump into things whereas Dan is a planner and likes to research things. The state, a bit confused, pointed to her testimony that she had spent a good amount of time planning and researching her books.

DAY 18 – 5/12/22

  • Dr. Patricia Warford continues her testimony
    • On re-direct, when asked if what Nancy told friends and the police was a lie (that she was at home the morning of June 2, 2018) Dr. Warford suggested what Nancy said might be a misunderstanding. She said there are lots of explanations on why Nancy said what she said. Dr. Warford also suggested it might not have been Nancy’s intent to lie.
  • Nancy’s writing partner, Linda Smith, testifies the defendant told her she was planning to buy a gun
    • They met once a week, sometimes more, to write together.
    • She said Nancy once mentioned she was planning to buy a gun. Smith also said she didn’t know if Nancy did end up buying a gun.
  • Darla Lukenbaugh, a writer friend of the defendant, testifies Nancy told her she purchased a gun kit
  • Kimberly Tuttle-Kirk, the co-owner of Threat Dynamics firearms training facility testifies that none of the company records show that Nancy visited the facility. Though, there was another person with the last name Brophy who did visit.
  • Delilah Ahrendt, a writer friend of the defendant, testifies she purchased a Victorian chastity belt for several hundred dollars for research to support her writing. She said it’s not rare for a writer to spend money on research.
  • Jessica Smith, a writer friend of Nancy, is recalled to the stand. She testifies Nancy told her she purchased a gun kit.

DAY 17 – 5/10/22

  • Shana Greenlick, a longtime friend of Nancy, testifies
    • Greenlick last saw Nancy at Dan’s memorial in 2018.
    • She said she thought of Nancy and Dan as mentors to her. She said they taught her how to work hard.
    • She said she observed their relationship to be “incredibly loving” and that it touched her deeply.
  • Licensed psychologist Dr. Patricia Warford testifies
    • Dr. Warford evaluated Nancy in June 2019.
    • She said she used two tests to evaluate Nancy’s character traits – an MMPI 2 and an MMPI 3. She said MMPI stands for Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. She said the MMPI 2 test is the older version of the MMPI 3 test.
    • She said the results of these tests told her that Nancy is independent, problem solving, and not overly emotional.
    • She also evaluated the Brophy’s relationship through Susan Estrada’s testimony and text messages between Nancy and Dan. She said from this, she couldn’t find examples of domestic violence between the two. Instead, she indicated they had signs of a trusting relationship. She said they anticipated each other. She said she noticed there’s a shared fondness and admiration of each other.
    • On cross-examination, Dr. Warford admitted of all 178 people in the case, she reviewed 12 – 15 of them for her testimony today. She said most of the information of those 178 people were redundant, so that’s why she limited her review to 12 – 15 people.
    • The State asserted that Nancy lied to her friends about where she was on the morning of June 2, 2018, that she was at home when she was caught on surveillance cameras driving in the area near OCI. Dr. Warford indicated that Nancy’s brain may have been disrupted when she was relaying this information and that Nancy may have thought she was giving the best information she could at the time.
    • The State questioned, if a couple had no violent psychological emotional abuse between the two for their whole relationship but one shot the other, that wouldn’t be a domestically violent relationship? Dr. Warford said sure this could happen if the person who shot the other was a psychopath.
    • The State conveyed that no one reported a single argument between Nancy and Dan, suggesting this might be odd. Dr. Warford said this tells her they can handle differences without getting into a fight. They’ve learned to adapt to one another. She said she heard people say they compromised.

DAY 16 – 5/9/22

  • Former OCI Director of Education Tom Bethel testified he would ask people to leave the campus if he felt that’s not where they should be. He clarified he would allow homeless people to can around campus
  • Sarah Gitchell, the defendant’s niece, testifies
    • Gitchell is Nancy’s niece that grew up in Texas and moved to Oregon in 2011.
    • She characterized Nancy as mother-like. She said she went to Nancy about issues in her life since she was estranged from her mom.
    • She painted a vivid image of Nancy and Dan’s relationship as very idyllic. She conveyed Nancy’s sentiment that although Nancy was not happy with not having a clean house, she’d rather have that and be with Dan than have a clean house and not be with Dan.
    • She, like Susan Estrada, testified to Nancy not wanting to show emotion publicly, but being able to express her emotions privately.
    • She also expanded on Nancy’s audio during Detective Anthony Merrill’s testimony where Nancy says she doesn’t care who shot Dan, she just wants him back. Gitchell also said that at a certain point after Dan’s death, Nancy did care and begged people to help her find out who killed Dan.
  • Vicki Schmall, who booked Dan Brophy to give presentations to a home economics community, testifies
    • Schmall had previously asked Dan to do food presentations for a home economics community.
    • She said Dan would bring Nancy to these presentations.
    • She observed them to have a “marvelous” dynamic. As a result, she requested them to come back the following year.
  • Janet Brown, the defendant’s cousins, takes the stand
    • After Dan’s death, Brown said Nancy appeared to have trouble focusing and making decisions. Brown said Nancy became easily distracted which is not something she used to do before.
    • Similar to Estrada and Gitchell, she said Nancy didn’t wear her emotions on her sleeve but that she did grieve privately.
  • Rita Hood, a friend of the defendant, testifies
    • Hood met Nancy at the University of Houston.
    • She said after Dan’s death, Nancy was grief stricken. She said Nancy was in shock, overwhelmed, confused, and in completely disbelief of what happened.
  • Lydia Dennehy, who worked at Nancy’s catering company, testified that she admired the relationship Nancy had with Dan, that they seemed to have an equal partnership
  • John Lenz, who owns an insurance agency, testifies
    • He said Dan had six life insurance policies in force during the date of his death with the base insurance being $400,000 and the accidental death coverage being $320,000.
    • He said over half the money Dan was spending on life insurance had a savings component that would’ve created a return on his premium.

DAY 15 – 5/5/22

  • Ellen Levine, who walked her dog around OCI every day, testifies
    • Levin lived on the same block as the Oregon Culinary Institute.
    • She said on June 2, 2018, she saw OCI’s garage door open.
    • She said it was the first time she ever saw it open.
    • She said she felt safe in the area.
  • Susan Estrada, the defendant’s niece, testifies
    • She said she used to live with Nancy at several different times in her life.
    • She said she lived downstairs and observed Nancy and Dan’s morning routines. She said Nancy would write every day, Dan would bring her Starbucks, then Nancy would walk the dogs and get a second cup of Starbucks. She said Dan got up around 5:30 AM, walked the dogs and fed the chickens.
    • She said Nancy and Dan had a wonderful relationship, idolized their marriage.
    • She said Nancy wasn’t emotional all the time when Dan passed, though she did observe Nancy sobbing at times. She remembered Nancy cried at the memorial.
    • She said she and Nancy started Brophy Estrada Agency, an insurance agency.
    • She said she was with Nancy when Nancy asked Detective Posey about a letter exonerating her as a suspect form the investigation into Dan’s death. She said Nancy was instructed to do that based on an email she received form an insurance company.
  • Michael Peterson, who told police about a person smoking at OCI the night before Dan’s death, testifies
    • Peterson was a pastry student at OCI on June 2, 2018.
    • He said he was at OCI the night of June 1, 2018.
    • He said he observed a person smoking on the OCI staircase. He said he was concerned because he had never seen anybody at the building at that time of night.
  • Matthew Glitchell, an extended family member of the Brophys, testifies
    • Glitchell’s wife is Nancy’s niece.
    • Glitchell said he didn’t observe anything unusual about the Brophy’s relationship. He said they seemed affectionate. He acknowledged he may not know what’s going on behind closed doors.
    • He said he helped Nancy move. He said in doing so, he didn’t across any firearms or firearm parts. He confirmed he never talked to her about that.
    • He said after Nancy’s death, she didn’t express to him any concerns about her finances, nor did she ask him for a loan.
  • Sergio Perez, who compiled video of Oscar Taylor’s movements around OCI, testifies
    • Perez said he was provided every piece of video of discovery and located Oscar Taylor (previously described as homeless) within these videos.
    • Perez admitted he doesn’t know if Taylor actually resided in one of the nearby apartments.
  • Josiah Roloff, who reviewed the Brophy’s AT&T phone records, testifies
    • Roloff is a senior digital forensic examiner at Roloff Digital Forensics.
    • He said he reviewed Nancy’s AT&T phone records that show her interaction with Dan and his family in 2018.
    • He said he observed numerous visits to Dan’s parents’ house in June 2018 and fewer visits as time went on.
  • WATCH: 5/5/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Victim Loved Mushroom Hunting

DAY 14 – 5/4/22

  • Tiffany Couch continues her testimony
    • She said the Brophy’s net worth prior to Dan’s death was about $565,000.
    • She said, if the Brophy’s sold their house, they would’ve been able to get rid of their debt, pay both of their mortgages, and still have excess money to spend.
    • She said the Brophy’s bank account statements don’t show any cash income they made and used for cash payments.
  • Richard Freimark, who advised the Brophys on the subdivision of their property, testifies
    • Freimark is a commercial and residential realtor at Meridian.
    • He met Nancy when she was running her catering business back in 1995.
    • He said Nancy reached out to him in 2017, and together with Dan, sought out his advice on whether or not their property could be subdivided and sold.
    • He said this process isn’t expensive, it’s time consuming.
    • He said he told the Brophys that if they were going to do this, this wasn’t going to be a cash positive outcome. He said the money from selling the land would go to the lien holder and they would get a lower mortgage.
  • Daniel Rubenson, who analyzed the Brophy’s personal finances testifies
    • Rubenson is a professor of economics at Southern Oregon University at Ashland.
    • He evaluated the loss of pecuniary support to the Brophy’s household and loss of household services (e.g., cooking, shopping, home maintenance, etc.) after Dan’s death.
    • He said the estimated the economic loss to Nancy from Dan’s death to be $1,133,032.
  • Frederick Hartvedt, who worked near OCI, testifies
    • Hartvedt is a mechanic for BMW.
    • He said in June 2018, he was working in the building behind the bleachers of Lincoln High School which is close to the Oregon Culinary Institute.
    • He said there were some concerns about break-ins in that area.
    • He said he saw a homeless camp across the street.
  • Francisco Jaramillo, who worked near OCI, testifies
    • Jaramillo worked with Hartvedt at BMW.
    • He said he observed homeless people camping in the area from time to time.
    • He said he didn’t observe anyone to be violent.
  • Melanie Hammericksen, who was mentored by Dan Brophy testifies
    • Hammericksen is a culinary arts teacher at Lincoln High School.
    • She used to be Dan’s assistant.
    • She said she didn’t get along with Dan when she first met him, but their friendship evolved over time.
    • She said Dan was her mentor, she owes him everything. She said that when he died, a piece of her died as well.
    • She said Dan asked her to take her current position at Lincoln High School.
    • She said Dan always planned to walk her down the aisle at her future wedding.
  • Sgt. Sarah Taylor, who responded to the crime scene, takes the stand
    • Sgt. Taylor works for the Portland Police Bureau.
    • She said she was dispatched to OCI on June 2, 2018.
    • She said she was with four officers at the front of the building, reported she heard footsteps upstairs, was not aware where they were coming from, then realized the footsteps were coming from officers entering the back of the building.
    • She said she did not check if one could get into the ceiling or the roof of the building. She later clarified on cross that if she thought there was a threat from these areas, she would’ve investigated them further.
  • Det. Brad Clifton takes the stand
    • Detective Clifton works for the Portland Police Bureau.
    • He said he was assigned to interview two witnesses.
    • He said a student told him that she observed a homeless Black male in their 40s canning.

DAY 13 – 5/3/22

  • Motion hearing
    • A juror is excused due to COVID. An alternate now fills their place.
    • The defense made a motion for judgment of acquittal. The judge denied this.
  • James Denny, the Brophy’s former landscaper, takes the stand
    • He is retired but used to run James Denny Landscaping.
    • He said he was hired by Nancy to landscape the front and backyard of her and Dan’s house.
    • He emphasized that Nancy’s priority for him was to make sure Dan was always kept happy while he (Denny) was going through the process of landscaping their yards.
    • It was his understanding that his job was to get the front and backyard presentable for the house to be sold.
    • He indicated this was the most difficult landscaping job he’d ever done since the 1950s (because of the amount of work that was required to clean up the overgrown hedges, blackberries, etc.).
    • Denny’s invoices showed he did less than $7,000 worth of work prior to Dan’s death.
    • Denny’s invoices showed he did about $16,000 worth of work after Dan’s death.
  • Nicole Barlow, who observed Nancy the day Dan’s body was found, testifies
    • She said she was called to OCI on June 2, 2018, to provide practical care and first aid.
    • She recalled hearing Nancy crying and screaming loudly at the scene. She said this was when she saw Nancy coming through the barricade. She figured Nancy had already been informed of her husband’s death.
    • She and Nancy went into a police van to meet privately. She spoke to Nancy about funeral homes. After this, she observed Nancy leaving the scene immediately.
  • Tamara Alva, the niece of former landscaper James Denny, takes the stand
    • She helped her uncle, James Denny, with the landscaping at the Brophy’s house.
    • She said this was the worst job she and her uncle had dealt with.
    • It was her understanding that their job was to help Dan get his front and backyard organized, and maybe help the Brophys reduce the size of where they were living so that they could prepare more for their latter time in life.
    • She said she was under the impression the Brophys were preparing their property to be sold.
    • She observed Nancy being affectionate and doting on Dan.
    • She said she found out about Dan’s death on the news at 5:30 AM or 6:30 AM. She also said she called and told Nancy about this, and on that call, observed Nancy not saying much presumably because she was in shock. She also said she encouraged Nancy to immediately go down to OCI.
  • Tiffany Couch, who analyzed the Brophy’s personal finances, takes the stand
    • Couch is a certified public accountant, certified in financial forensics, and is a certified fraud examiner.
    • She said the Brophys had two credit cards, a Bank of America credit card and a Sears credit card. She also said that in 2018, the Brophys combined debt on these two credit cards was about $6,100.
    • She said Dan took on a second job at Avenir and Nancy sold insurance. Both of these things provided more income to their family.
    • She said the Brophys first paid off their consumer debt, and also paid their CitiBank mortgage, tried to improve their home by landscaping it, and worked to pay down Dan’s 401K loan.
    • She said that if people are cash strapped, multiple credit cards are opened, minimum payments on bills aren’t met, and there would be excessive spending on things that don’t make sense. She said that’s not what she saw with the Brophy’s finances.

DAY 12 – 4/22/22

  • Robert Azorr, who analyzed the Brophy’s finances, continued his testimony:
    • On cross, he detailed the difference between discretionary and nondiscretionary expenses.
    • He said Dan’s field trips to the coast with his students weren’t discretionary or nondiscretionary expenses, these counted as income so long as they were necessary trips for his job.
    • As for the Brophy’s finances, Azorr said he didn’t know which insurance policies were meant for cash building. Azorr indicated he had no way of knowing what the Brophy’s financial plans were.
    • On re-direct, Azorr re-emphasized that there were no changes in the Brophy’s spending habits after they withdrew $35,000 from Dan’s retirement. Azorr said this was a shame and speculated they could’ve avoided pulling from Dan’s retirement. Towards the end of this testimony, he surmised that this wasn’t sustainable.
  • After Azorr’s testimony, the State rested their case-in-chief. The jury will return Tuesday, May 3
  • WATCH: 4/22/22 State Rests in Romance Novelist Murder Trial

DAY 11 – 4/20/22

  • Nancy’s hairdresser, Michele Reveneau testified she read about Dan’s death in the Sunday paper and characterized the story as a little blurb
    • She said after Dan’s death, she saw Nancy for a hair appointment. She said she asked what happened and cried in that moment. She said she noticed Nancy didn’t cry
  • Tania Medlin, a close friend of Nancy, took the stand
    • She considered Nancy one of her nearest and dearest friends. They met at culinary school and were roommates during this time.
    • Later in life, she said she turned to Nancy for marital advice. She said, among some of the advice Nancy gave was being able to pick her battles. To this, she acknowledged that Nancy was right 90% of the time.
    • In regard to Dan, she looked up to him as a chef. At one point in her life, she hired him to work at her company, Avenir. She testified to being surprised about this considering she saw him at her level of experience or higher.
    • In testimony more relevant to the case, Melin said that in October or November 2017, she talked to Nancy about buying a gun. She recalled Nancy saying that Dan is always in the woods by himself and that it made sense for him to have a gun.
    • On the topic of Nancy’s demeanor after Dan’s death, Medlin said she had previously seen Nancy fall apart before and knows that historically, in stressful situations, Nancy is all business.
    • As for the house, Medlin said she thinks Nancy wanted to sell her and Dan’s house because she knew the moment the death certificate was turned over to social security, the house would go to the banks. She said she thinks Nancy was worried about this because Nancy wasn’t on the mortgage.
  • Andria Alderson-Such, who handled Dan’s worker’s compensation claim, testified
    • Alderson-Such is a senior tech claims adjuster for the SAIF Corporation. (The State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation)
    • She said that on June 4, 2018, Dan’s employer submitted a claim.
    • She also said that on June 8, 2018, she called Nancy to follow up on this claim, offered Nancy her condolences, asked Nancy about what happened, and made sure to tell Nancy that SAIF couldn’t guarantee her payment.
    • Alderson-Such said that on July 30, 2018, SAIF decided to pay interim benefits to Nancy given Nancy’s situation. Alderson-Such said that SAIF ended up paying two-months’ worth of interim benefits before stopping the upcoming August 2018 payment. She said her team stopped these payments when they found out Nancy was arrested.
    • Towards the end of her testimony, Alderson-Such said that Nancy asked about the timeline on her claim. She said that after Nancy found out it took 60 days to make a decision, Nancy stated she couldn’t wait that long.
  • Stephanie Eakin, who handled Dan’s worker’s compensation claim, testified
    • Eakin is a fraud investigator for the SAIF Corporation.
    • She said the total amount to be paid to Nancy was estimated to be $438,000.
  • Robert Azorr, who analyzed the Brophy’s personal finances, testified
    • Azorr said he reviewed the Brophys six bank accounts.
    • He said the Brophys kept getting hit with insufficient fund charges and were struggling to pay their mortgage.
    • He said the Brophys finances didn’t appear to show any change in spending habits that would help them meet their financial obligations. He said their finances showed that even though they were struggling to pay their mortgage, they still took a trip to Florida, continued to purchase Starbucks coffee regularly, and go out to dinner regularly.
    • He said in September 2017, $35,000 was withdrawn from Dan’s 401K account. He said this represented 50% of Dan’s 401K.
    • He said that after this amount of money was moved, there still didn’t appear to be any change in the Brophys monthly expenditures.
    • He said the Brophys life insurance payments, which he considers one of the larger categories of discretionary spending for the Brophys, continued to be paid.
    • On cross, the defense brought up Nancy’s intention to sell the house and move to a rural area. They suggested this could have been a way for the Brophys to rectify their financial situation.

DAY 10 – 4/19/22

  • Firearms expert Leland Samuelson testified
    • He talked about the critical components of a firearm that leave toolmarks on a shell casing.
    • He received two spent shell casings to analyze.
    • He recognized the shape of the firing pin on these two shell casings and determined that these were most likely fired from a Glock.
    • For his ballistics process of analyzing the Glock 17 he was given (the one Nancy purchased from a gun show), Samuelson said he test fired new bullets from this Glock 17 and then compared the shell casings from this to the two shell casings he was given.
    • He determined the two shell casings he was given were not fired from the Glock 17, at least not with the slide and barrel that came with it.
    • For his ballistics process of analyzing the Glock 19 build kit he was given, Samuelson said he took the slide and barrel from this build kit and put them on his lab’s Glock 19 handgun.
    • He determined the two shell casings he was given were not a match for the Glock 19 slide and barrel.
    • He also said he was not given a separate Glock 17 slide and barrel, presumably this would have been the Glock 17 slide and barrel Nancy had purchased from eBay.
    • On cross, the Defense emphasized this, that Samuelson hadn’t tested this separate Glock 17 slide and barrel and that from what he did test – a Glock 17 and a Glock 19 slide and barrel – the two shell casings weren’t fired from either of these firearms.
  • Ofc. Aaron Sparling is recalled
    • The following is a continuation from Officer Sparling’s previous testimony where he said he pulled information from an HP laptop’s hard drive indexes. This HP laptop was found in the Brophy’s bedroom closet.
    • In his most recent testimony, Officer Sparling said that on March 11, 2018, from these hard drive indexes, he found an Internet search for cleaning a Glock 17 which looked like it led to a YouTube link.
    • He also said on March 26, 2018, from these indexes, he found an Internet search for loading a Glock 9mm, and again, it looked like it led to a YouTube link.
    • On cross, the Defense emphasized that it couldn’t be determined who the actual person that as performing the search.
  • Kelsey Guay, who analyzed the Brophys’ cellphone activity, is recalled
    • She said that on December 24, 2017, Nancy’s phone showed activity near her Beaverton, Oregon home for the majority of the day.
    • She also said on February 17, 2018, Nancy’s phone showed activity near the Portland Expo Center.
    • As for March 26, 2018, Guay said that Nancy’s phone showed activity in an area past Hillsboro, Oregon, somewhere along Highway 26, possibly near the North Fork Wolf Creek Public Range. Guay clarified that Nancy’s phone didn’t stay out in that area very long.
    • The following day, on March 27, 2018, Guay said that Nancy’s phone showed activity past the Hillsboro area yet again.
  • Glock employee Carl Hopp testified
    • He is currently employed as the northwest commercial sales manager for Glock, Inc.
    • He said all Glocks are test-fired before leaving a Glock facility.
  • Det. Anthony Merrill is recalled
    • He said on February 17, 2018, Nancy purchased a Glock 17 at a gun show.
    • He said on February 19, 2018, Nancy signed up for an eBay account.
    • He said on February 23, 2018, Nancy won a Glock 17 slide and barrel on eBay.
    • He said on February 28, 2018, the Glock 17 slide and barrel from eBay was delivered to the Brophy home.
    • He indicated that if one were to go to an open gun range, to shoot 36 rounds, it could take a person less than two minutes to shoot all of the rounds.
    • The Defense emphasized that on March 15, 2018, Nancy bought rose point glasses on eBay. They indicated that when it came to Nancy deleting her eBay account, she would’ve done this after buying the rose point glasses. The State indicated they believed Nancy did delete her eBay account in late March.
    • The Defense attempted to indicate the Glock 17 slide and barrel, the firearms parts that Nancy won on eBay, were delivered to Dan. The State indicated the eBay purchase was delivered to a mailbox and that there was no way to tell whether or not Dan was the one who picked the package up.
  • Sgt. Jeffrey McDaniel, who supervised Nancy’s arrest, testified
    • On September 5, 2018, he said his team of 4 – 5 people arrested Nancy.
    • He recalled Nancy saying something along the lines of, You guys think I murdered my husband?
  • Det. Darren Posey is recalled
    • Reached out to the company that sold Nancy a Glock 17 at a gun show (J&B Firearm Sales)
    • He obtained a demo video which shows how a Glock 17 slide and barrel can be replaced by another slide and barrel.

DAY 9 – 4/18/22

  • Megan Light testified about her conversation with Nancy at Dan’s vigil/wake
    • Some legal discussions were had regarding Light’s testimony. In a phone call with Detective Merrill, Light described Nancy’s behavior at Dan’s vigil/wake as odd. This audio was played for the court but not for the jury. The judge said he wouldn’t allow it to come in because it appeared Light was basing this statement on how she thought normal people should act as opposed to basing this on what she knows of her relationship with Nancy.
    • In her testimony that was heard by the jury, Light recalled an interaction with Nancy that occurred at Dan’s vigil/wake. Light said she told Nancy something along the lines of, I hope they figure out who did this. Light said Nancy just wanted to know how it went down.
    • Light also testified to another part of that same conversation with Nancy. Light said she offered to bring cookies to Dan’s memorial. To this, Light said Nancy told her not to because when someone gets murdered, the culinary school puts on quite a spread
  • Brett Glendinning, who sold Nancy a Glock 17 at a gun show, testified
    • Glendinning said he assisted Nancy with her Glock 17 Gen4 9mm handgun purchase.
    • In his conversation with her, he said he recommended gun ranges where she could practice shooting.
    • He also showed Nancy how to break the gun apart to clean it. In this part of his testimony, he stated that a handgun can be cleaned without having to be taken apart.
    • He even explained how to put a zip tie on a gun. He said the zip ties on the guns brought to the gun shows that he attended weren’t removed whenever a customer wanted to handle a gun
  • Det. Anthony Merrill is recalled to the stand
    • On September 5, 2018, he said he got and executed a search warrant on Nancy’s home.
    • He said he found a silver HP laptop in a box in Nancy’s bedroom closet.
    • He said he found another computer near Nancy’s bed.
    • He said he got a separate warrant to analyze the computers.
    • He also said he got another separate warrant to search a public storage unit that was being rented out by Nancy
  • Eric McDaniel, who found a Glock handgun box in a storage unit rented by Nancy, testified
    • He said on September 8, 2018, he helped with the search of a storage unit in Beaverton, OR.
    • He said he opened a cardboard box that was in the storage unit and saw that it contained a black plastic Glock handgun box. He said he left this handgun box in its place and notified the detectives at the scene.
  • 104 Hearing: Ofc. Aaron Sparling’s testimony
    • He said on February 1, 2018, he analyzed an HP laptop’s hard drive indexes. He clarified that this HP laptop was found in Nancy’s bedroom closet.
    • He said the hard drive indexes showed there were searches for gun shops in Portland, a search for Power Tech Precision Services, and more searches for gun shops in Portland.
    • He indicated that any search warrant’s limitations did not play a role in his analysis of this HP laptop.
  • Kyle Martin, who previously owned GhostGuns.com, takes the stand
    • He said a ghost gun build kit from GhostGuns.com contains a case, a magazine, a lower parts kit, 80% of a frame, and a slide (with a recoil spring and pin).
    • He said on December 24, 2017, a Glock 19 build kit was purchased from GhostGuns.com for $676.99
  • Ofc. Aaron Sparling, who analyzed a laptop found in the Brophys’ bedroom closet, took the stand
    • He said he analyzed an HP laptop’s hard drive indexes and found Internet searches for…
      • GhostGuns.com
      • Kickback with Glock
      • Glock 19 YouTube
      • Gun shops in Portland
      • Cost of Glock 17
      • GunBroker.com
      • When do you have to register a gun in Oregon?
      • Gun safety classes
      • BlackStoneGunSafety.com
      • Portland expo gun show
      • Glock 17 slide for sale
      • Glock 17 Gen4 eBay
      • Glock 17 slide
      • Glock 19 slide
      • How to sell a gun in Oregon
    • He said on February 23, 2018, there was an Internet search for a Glock 17 Gen4. He also said an eBay transaction was made on the same day.
  • Patrick Cowen, the owner of firearms store Caroline Colt Company, testified
      • He said he owns Caroline Colt Company, which is a firearms store that sells firearms accessories and ammo.
      • He said his company used to list items for sale on eBay and no longer does because of eBay’s increased fees.
      • He said on February 23, 2018, Nancy won an auction for a Glock 17 slide and barrel.

DAY 8 – 4/14/22

  • Steven Santos, who analyzed Dan’s life insurance policies that he had at the time of his death, finished his testimony
    • Re-emphasized the insurance coverage the Brophys had would’ve made more sense if they had more discretionary income
    • On cross-examination, Santos said Dan’s coverage was appropriate to his income
    • Said he recommends a couple spend 10% – 20% of their total budget on life insurance policies but the report he (Santos) provided to the State only included Dan’s $60,000 gross salary, and did not include life insurance expenses Nancy, nor did it include their health and property expenses
    • Said the Brophys maintained the payment of their house and insurance policies towards the last 3 – 4 years of Dan’s life, but this wouldn’t have been a sustainable plan for the future
  • Two fellow romance writers take the stand
    • Terri Reed testified she took a shooting course with Nancy, but didn’t discuss firearms outside of the course
    • Jessica Smith testified Nancy talked about the purchase of a gun kit between March-May 2018
  • Former neighbors of the Brophys testified that Nancy discussed selling their home and moving after Dan’s death
  • Dan Brophy’s son, Nathaniel Stillwater, testified
    • Initially grew up with his mom then reconnected with Dan around his 21st birthday.
    • When Dan passed, said he offered to loan Nancy money, but she declined. Saw that Nancy went from having anxiety about money to becoming calm and at ease. Not sure how, but money was starting to flow in for her.
    • Before Dan passed, Dan and Nancy brought up the idea of selling the house. Dan mentioned he wanted a ranch-style home while Nancy wanted to travel to Spain or Portugal.
    • Said there Dan and Nancy had an initial plan to have their property zoned. Later heard from Nancy it was a lot of work and cost prohibitive. Said Nancy wasn’t on the mortgage but was on the deed.
    • Owns multiple firearms. Said Dan and Nancy knew he had firearms.
    • Found out Dan passed from his grandmother. His grandmother called and said Dan had been shot. Her words were, “it was your sweet daddy.” Never heard her refer to him like that before. Said it was seared into his mind.
    • After Dan passed, Nancy got news of her brother’s death and went to Texas because she was the executor to his estate. Said Nancy’s siblings are all in the legal practice except for her.
  • WATCH: 4/14/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Day 8

 

DAY 7 – 4/13/22

  • Kelsey Guay, who analyzed the Brophys’ cellphone site activity, showed a PowerPoint animation of the minivan pathway as picked up by surveillance cameras in the OCI area
  • Detective Darren Posey, who says Nancy asked him for a letter stating she’s not a suspect, took the stand
    • Held up Nancy’s gun show Glock 17 Gen 4 for the jury
    • Said J&B Firearm Sales were the gun show sellers that sold the Glock to Nancy
    • Asked J&B Firearm Sales to create a demo video showing how a slide and barrel from one Glock can be placed onto another Glock (A J&B person will testify to this at a later date)
    • Learned Nancy went to eBay to buy a slide and barrel
    • Was on the phone with Nancy when she asked for a letter stating she’s not a suspect
    • Told by Nancy she didn’t fire the gun, didn’t load it, didn’t have ammo
    • Given the gun by Nancy, understood she didn’t want it and wanted the police to have it for safekeeping, not for evidence at the time
    • Said Nancy didn’t request the gun to be returned
  • Steven Santos, who analyzed Dan’s life insurance policies that he had at the time of his death, took the stand
    • When asked if Nancy and Dan’s long-term retirement plan made sense, Santos said no. Prior to this Santos stated that he doesn’t believe their budget allowed for the Brophys to have the life insurance plans that they had
  • WATCH: 4/13/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Day 7

DAY 6 – 4/12/22

  • Det. Anthony Merrill is recalled to the stand
    • Said after doing Nancy’s death notification, was with other officers and Nancy when she accepted the officers’ offer to drive her home
    • Said Nancy wasn’t a suspect at this time
    • Collected Nancy’s Glock 17 (the one she bought at a gun show) for several reasons including safekeeping because she was emotional and that since it was a semiautomatic handgun and they had semiautomatic casings at the scene, they wanted to rule it out as the murder weapon
    • Photo of Nancy’s Toyota Sienna 2005 minivan near the crime scene, when she had arrived to meet with police to hear an update on Dan, was shown to the jury
    • Photo from Bellagios Pizza security cam video shows a similar minivan at 7:28 AM near OCI
    • Requested Detective Rico Beniga, who had driven Nancy home, to take photos of her minivan so that he could compare her minivan to the one in the Bellagios Pizza security cam video
    • Photo of an identifying mark on Nancy’s minivan, a defect with rust
    • Outside of the jury’s presence, two dates were brought up:
      • August 22, 2018 – Detective Merrill met with prosecutors and had a discussion regarding going over a timeline with Nancy
      • September 5, 2018 – Nancy is arrested. Prosecutors attempted to interview Nancy after she was arrested, she invoked her right to an attorney. No interview took place. Shawn says the prosecution team was not aware she was represented by counsel at this time
    • The Defense brought up videos of transients in the area on the date Dan was killed. Lisa drew attention towards one person in particular, Oscar Taylor, who they revealed was thought by OCI students to be hostile, had been in prison before, had 15 felonies. The State refuted this in their questions which entailed that just because a person went to prison doesn’t mean they committed murder and that none of the OCI students suspected Oscar of murder
  • Detective Scott Broughton takes the stand
    • On June 2, 2018, after Nancy’s interview with police, Detective Broughton drove Nancy home
    • Learned Nancy purchased a Glock after a school shooting, and after discovering those around her had guns and she and Dan didn’t
    • Learned Nancy purchased her Glock at a gun show, paid $500 for it, then didn’t know what to do with it
    • Went upstairs with Nancy to collect the Glock for safekeeping. Pointed out to the jurors a photo of the Glock. Said that when he first saw it, the slide didn’t appear to be fully seated
    • Said Nancy didn’t mention having a ghost gun build kit
  • Detective Rico Beniga takes the stand
    • On June 2, 2018, assisted Detective Broughton in accompanying Nancy home
    • Went upstairs with Detective Broughton to collect Nancy’s Glock for safekeeping. Noticed it didn’t appear to be fully seated
    • Got a call from Detective Merrill to take photos of Nancy’s minivan. Noticed the side of the van had an identifying mark – a horizontal scratch above the wheel well with some rusting, indicating it was not a new scratch
    • Asked Nancy, after he had already sent the photos to Detective Merrill, if it was okay that he had taken photos of her minivan. Recalled her saying, “Why? I wasn’t there this morning. I was at home.”
  • Officer Aaron Dauchy takes the stand
    • Reviewed transit surveillance videos. Was asked to look at a video of a minivan and to identify the license plate. Determined first four characters – 067B. Was later told the license plate was 067BQX
  • Detective Travis Law takes the stand
    • Looked at 12 of 21 Toyota Sienna 2004 – 2005 minivans registered at the DMV in the local area. Determined none of these vehicles matched the minivan in security camera footage
  • Kelsey Guay takes the stand
    • Was asked by Detective Merrill to look at Nancy and Dan’s cell site activity
    • On June 2, 2018, said Nancy’s cell site activity shows she was headed towards Downtown Portland at 10:20 AM. Said there was no cell site activity showing Nancy’s cell phone had moved prior to this. The State indicated that it was possible Nancy could’ve traveled Downtown without her phone between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
    • On June 2, 2018, said Dan’s cell site activity shows he was near his home from midnight – 6:45 AM. It also shows he was in the Goose Hollow area near OCI at 7:37 AM. The State indicates this is consistent with him going to work
    • Compiled surveillance videos tracking a minivan near OCI
  • WATCH: 4/12/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Day 6

DAY 5 – 4/11/22

  • OCI student Adam Johnson and instructor Kenneth Narcavage took the stand, testifying that Dan never discussed retirement
  • Det. Anthony Merrill is recalled to the stand
    • Tracked down transients, determined they weren’t a threat because the day Dan was shot, nothing was stolen
    • Used a satellite map of OCI to point out where he had collected surveillance video in the area
    • On June 2, 2018, after interviewing Nancy, walked her to her van
    • Discovered video of Nancy, on June 2, 2018, driving westbound in her van at 7:08 AM and again at 7:28 AM
    • Heard on audio, recorded on June 2, 2018 from 10:47 AM – 11:39 AM, giving a death notification to Nancy
      • Nancy said Dan left the house around 7:05 AM
      • Nancy asked if Dan was shot with an AR-15, clarifies she thought about that gun because of recent school shootings in the news
      • Nancy said after the Marjorie Douglas shooting, surveyed people around her who owned guns, said everyone owned one but them, ended up buying a gun
      • Courtroom cam pans around to the gallery to several shots behind the state (~7:37:58) to the gallery behind the defense (~7:40:37)
    • Described Nancy as being scattered but lucid. Noticed she could remember details of her day whereas others wouldn’t because they’d be very emotional.
  • WATCH: 4/11/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Day 5

DAY 4 – 4/7/22

  • OCI president Brian Wilke and facilities manager Paul Woodson testify about the day of the shooting and seeing Nancy at the scene
  • Jack Brophy, the father of the Dan Brophy, took the stand
    • Loaned Dan and Nancy $50,000 for a sandwich shop, got a quarter of the money back.
    • Nancy said she wanted to sell the house months before Dan passed. She seemed to be really pushing it.
    • Gave Dan and Nancy a van. Nancy primarily drove this car.
    • Dan slept in the downstairs bedroom, you could tell because it was messy. Nancy spent more time upstairs.
    • At a large family gathering in 2017, doesn’t recall Nancy asking family members about firearms. Didn’t know Dan and Nancy had a gun.
  • Karen Brophy is recalled to the stand
    • Dan and Nancy were beginning to talk about retirement and selling their home. They were looking at a small plot of land outside of Portland for Dan’s garden and his chickens. Nancy talked about wanting to sell the house more frequently. Doesn’t think Dan really wanted to sell the house
    • Nancy said Dan had changed in his last year. She said he wants to lie on the couch more and watch sports. This wasn’t like Dan. Knew he was working two jobs, thought maybe he was just tired. Didn’t observe him watching a lot of television.
    • Nancy once talked about having dinner with her friends, mentioned they had guns. This was around the time of Sandy Hook.
    • The defense team brings up Dan’s first wife. Karen characterizes her as difficult and very controlling.
  • WATCH: 4/7/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Day 4

DAY 3 – 4/6/22

DAY 2 – 4/5/22

  • Multiple culinary students took the stand, testifying to the day they found Chef Brophy’s body
  • During the testimony of paramedic Craig Gault, the State plays a video from the POV of a person walking into Kitchen 1 and seeing Chef Brophy laying on the floor
    • Gault says he noticed a bullet casing, called a code three, realized the scene was a crime scene, wanted to control the scene/lock it down to be able to do a good investigation, called the police. Called time of death at 8:35:57AM.
  • Criminalist Tina Willard, who processed two 9mm shell casings, testified she found no identifiable fingerprints on the fired shell casing — State indicates if someone was wearing gloves, a criminalist wouldn’t expect to find DNA or fingerprints on a shell casing
  • WATCH: 4/5/22 Romance Novelist Murder Trial: Day 2

DAY 1 – 4/4/22

 

Court TV’s Matt Johnson contributed to this report.

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