The trial of a self-published romance noveliststarted Monday. Nancy Crampton Brophy has been in custody since her arrest in September 2018 and is charged with murder 63, reported The Oregonian/OregonLive.
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 there were no obvious suspects.
Brophy was found dead in his classroom when students arrived, KOIN-TV reported. He has worked at the school since 2006.
Nancy Crampton Brophy is a self-published romance novelist who wrote an essay entitled How to Murder Your Husband years before her husband’s death.
At the start of the trial Monday, Judge Christopher Ramras announced that the essay would be excluded from the trial evidence, KOIN reported.
“Any minimal probative value of an article written that long ago is essentially outweighed by the risk of unfair prejudice and confusion of the issues,” Ramras said.
Brophy’s death remained a mystery until his wife’s arrest, and authorities have never publicly identified another suspect.
Investigators found there were no signs of violence or struggle and no sign of robbery. Brophy still had his wallet, cell phone and car keys with him, documents say.
Traffic cameras show Crampton Brophy’s minivan approaching and pulling away from city streets near the institute, just before the apparent time of the shooting, court documents said.
Multnomah County Assistant 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 prosecutors’ claims that she benefited from ill-gotten gains.
She had previously entered a not-guilty plea for the charges.
In an online biography of her work, Crampton Brophy writes that she is “married to a chef whose mantra is Life is a Science Project.”
“As a result, there are chickens and turkeys in my backyard, a fabulous vegetable garden that also grows tobacco for an insecticide and a hot meal on the table every night,” she wrote. “For those of you who have longed 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 us our wishes.”
Neighbor Don McConnell told KOIN-TV in 2018 that Crampton didn’t seem upset with Brophy following Brophy’s death. “She’s taking it well, and I said that, you know, I said that some people might be better at handling things than others,” McConnell said.
Crampton Brophy was busy preparing for the move, McConnell said. “Even after she said, ‘I’m a suspect,'” he said, “I just thought, oh, yeah, well, they always suspect the other spouse.”
The process is expected to take seven weeks.