The trial of a self-published noveliststarted Monday. Nancy Crampton Brophy has remained in custody since her arrest in September 2018, facing a murder charge in the death of 63, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Brophy was killed while preparing to work at the Oregon Culinary Institute in southwest Portland around 7:30 a.m. on June 2, 2018. He was alone in a kitchen when he was killed and he was not there were no obvious suspects.
Brophy was found dead in his classroom when students started arriving, KOIN-TV reported. He had worked at the school since 2006.
Nancy Crampton Brophy is a self-published novelist who, years before her husband’s death, wrote an essay called “How to Murder Your Husband”.
At the start of the trial on Monday, Judge Christopher Ramras announced that the essay would be excluded from trial evidence, KOIN reported.
“Any minimal probative value of a paper written so long ago is far outweighed by the danger of unfair bias and confusion of issues,” Ramras said.
Brophy’s death remained a mystery until his wife’s arrest, and authorities never publicly disclosed another suspect.
Investigators determined there were no signs of force or struggle and no signs of theft. Brophy always had his wallet, cellphone and car keys with him, documents show.
Traffic cameras show Crampton Brophy’s van approaching and departing from city streets near the institute near the apparent time of the shooting, according to court documents.
Multnomah County Deputy Senior District Attorney Shawn Overstreet told jurors Monday that Crampton Brophy was motivated by greed and a $1.4 million insurance policy.
Lead defense attorney Lisa Maxfield said Crampton Brophy and her finances deteriorated after Brophy’s death, a far cry from the prosecution’s claim that she profited from ill-gotten gains.
She had previously entered a plea of not guilty to the prosecution.
In an online biography featuring her work, Crampton Brophy writes that she is “married to a leader whose mantra is: life is a science project.”
“As a result, there are chickens and turkeys in my garden, a fabulous vegetable patch that also grows tobacco for insecticide and a hot meal on the table every night,” she writes. “For those of you who have been waiting for this, let me warn you. The old adage is true. Be careful what you wish for, when the gods are really angry, they grant our wishes.”
Neighbor Don McConnell told KOIN-TV in 2018 that Crampton Brophy didn’t seem upset in the wake of Brophy’s death. “She’s taking it well, and that’s what I said, you know, I said maybe some people can handle things better than others,” McConnell said.
Crampton Brophy was busy preparing to move, McConnell said. “Even after she said, ‘I’m a suspect,'” he said, “I just thought oh, yeah, well, they still suspect the opposite spouse.”
The trial is expected to last seven weeks.