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Nancy Brophy takes stand for first time in her trial

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 7:07 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - For the first time, romance novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy took the stand in her trial Monday, defending herself and her marriage.

Brophy sat calm, confident, and casual on the stand. There were moments were Brophy had her arm resting on the back of the witness chair and looked directly at the jury as she told each story. Brophy’s attorney guided her testimony asking her everything from the her and Dan’s financial troubles, to selling the house, to her fascination with guns, to the day Dan was killed. Brophy began to break down recalling the Dan’s death.

“It’s like you’ve lost an arm. You know?” Brophy said. “Like, you’re just not as good as you were when you’re with him.  When you’re with him, you were the best you could be. And now, it’s like yeah, I function, but there’s something missing.”

The first part of the day was focused on Brophy’s career selling Medicare insurance. She said her and Dan made a plan to sell insurance so they could start having a steady income. Brophy claims in 2017 she sold up to 120 insurance policies. The couple also agreed to get the house ready to be put on the market. They took a loan out against their 401k plan to redo the landscaping in their backyard.

“Dan knew the credit card debt was going to kill us,” Brophy said. “We could only sustain so much interest. That was really his first concern was let’s get rid of the debt. My first concern was also lets get ready to get the house sold.”

Brophy also described her fascination with ghost guns that grew in late 2017 and early 2018. After reading a New York Times article about them, she said she went to ghost gun websites for research. Her plan was to write a romance novel about a woman who was scared for her safety. Each chapter would introduce a new piece of the gun. She admitted to buying a ghost gun kit but never assembled it.

However, Brophy said she did buy a Glock at the Portland Gun Show in 2018. A mass shooting at a Florida high school made her scared for her safety. Brophy said Dan agreed to buying a gun.

Recalling the day Dan died, Brophy broke down in tears.

“Dan dies and I’m walking around in a fog and I had people coming to see me all the time and are working really hard on taking care of me,” Brophy said.

She claims she was at home writing in bed when she got a call from a friend something happened at the Oregon Culinary Institute. She said she drove down to the school after calling and texting her husband. When she arrived, Brophy said she knew Dan was denied but denied killing him.

Brophy also denied remembering driving around the murder scene shortly after Dan was discovered. Brophy did admit that a still shot of her and her car from a security camera nearby look exactly like her, but she didn’t say it was her. Brophy continued to defend her marriage and the love she had for Dan until the very end of the day.

“It’s been four years since Dan died and I know one thing,” Brophy said. “I know I still haven’t grieved appropriately for him .”

The prosecution got 45 minutes to start their cross examination. That portion of Brophy’s testimony will resume again Tuesday at 9 a.m.