Opening statements begin in murder trial for Oregon romance novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 12:24 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – The high-profile trial for Oregon romance-novelist, Nancy Crampton-Brophy, began Monday at the Multnomah County Courthouse.

Crampton-Brophy is accused of killing her husband, Daniel Brophy, in 2018.

The trial kicked off with the judge announcing Crampton-Brophy’s 2011 essay “How to Murder Your Husband” will be excluded from the evidence in the trial. The judge called the essay “in-admissible.”

Next, he announced the jury, the rules of the trial, followed by opening statements from the prosecution.

They started with the Brophy’s early days – how they met in the early 90′s at the Oregon Culinary Institute where Daniel Brophy was Nancy’s teacher. They married in 1999.

The prosecution said come June 2016, the Brophy’s found themselves in financial trouble, struggling to pay their mortgage, leading them to drain $35,000 from their only 401k account to catch up on payments as well as pay for home renovations, pay the IRS and pay for travel.

Of that money, the prosecution says Crampton-Brophy spent $15,000 on guns and gun parts. The prosecution says Nancy started researching ghost guns in the last two months of 2017, eventually purchasing a ghost gun on Christmas Eve of that year, delivered in January 2018.

The prosecution says that gun was never built as Nancy didn’t have the skills to do so. They say she purchased another gun, a Glock 17, on Feb. 17, 2018.

At the end of the same month, the prosecution says she purchased a slide and barrel for that gun on eBay.

On March 27, 2018, the prosecution says Nancy practiced shooting at a public shooting range in Oregon to prepare for that fateful day on June 2, 2018.

The prosecution played surveillance footage for the court from that day, showing Nancy at 7:08 a.m. driving near the Oregon Culinary Institute.

But the prosecution says you don’t see her on surveillance footage again for another 14 minutes. Next, Daniel Brophy is shown arriving at the institute at 7:20 a.m. This is followed by a video of Nancy at 7:28 a.m. leaving the area.

The prosecution says Nancy returned to her home in Beaverton but returned to the scene at 10:28 that morning after being told by a friend about police activity outside of the institute.

The prosecution says she was notified by detectives shortly after that her husband was dead and also told them she had been home all morning.

Next, they played a soundbite for the courtroom from four days after Daniel was found dead. In it, you can hear Nancy asking a detective on the case to write a letter exonerating her from her husband’s death so she can collect money from a life insurance policy.

In that soundbite, the prosecution says Nancy told the detective she only had a $40,000 life insurance policy on her husband.

The prosecution says that’s simply not true.

They say Nancy made claims on 10 life insurance policies in which she was the beneficiary for $1.4 million, all equity of their home, and workers comp because her husband was killed at work.

As the trial is ongoing, this story will be updated as the trial continues. FOX 12 will continue to bring the latest details on air and online.