A romance novelist who wrote “How to Murder Your Husband” was found guilty of her husband’s murder on Wednesday, in which prosecutors leaned on a “puzzle” of circumstantial evidence, quietly conspiring to make the author a fake spouse. Perfect crime.
Seven weeks after the trial began in Portland, Oregon, 71-year-old Nancy Brophy stood quietly as the infectious mask covered her nose and mouth.
Prosecutors produced their case with evidence showing they had acquired gun fragments in the month before killing their husband, Daniel Brophy, including one additional factor that would ensure that the bullets used in the shooting could not be found. To her firearm. Prosecutors argued that Mrs. Brophy had shot her husband in his workplace, where there were no cameras or witnesses, and then proceeded to collect lucrative life insurance policies the following day.
“She has a plan,” Shaun Overstreet, a deputy district attorney, said in closing arguments this week. “She had the opportunity to carry out this murder. She was the only one who had purpose. ”
The second-degree murder charge that Miss Brophy was convicted of is a life sentence. She is scheduled to be sentenced on June 13.
Mrs. Brophy, who has written self-published romance novels, once said in a 2011 blog post that the wife who kills her mate must be “ruthless” and “very clever” because she is the prime suspect. She contemplated the various methods of murder, the knives were too personal, the poison was too much to detect, and the hitmen were too unreliable. He wrote that guns are messy and require skill.
At trial, prosecutors said Ms. Brophy explained how he bought a Ghost gun kit and a handgun. She then purchased an additional slide and barrel separately on eBay, which can be changed and placed on a finished gun. That extra unit was never found. Mrs. Brophy testified that, for the sake of handgun protection, she was purchased with the support of her husband, and that other gun units were purchased for her research, for her knowledge.
She and her lawyer said that Mrs. Brophy was considering the story of a woman who slowly acquired a firearm to complete a weapon and turn the tables on an abusive partner. Ms. In Brophy’s Romantic Suspense Books Author’s Bio, he focuses on describing “beautiful men and strong women, families who don’t always work, and the joy of finding love and the difficulty of making it last.”
On the morning of June 2, 2018, Mr. Brophy went to the Oregon Culinary Institute, where he taught classes. The students who followed him found his corpse on the floor of the kitchen. He had been shot twice.
Detectives later told Mrs. Brophy that her husband was dead, and she asked for details in the morning. She said her husband got up early and fed their chickens and walked to their dogs. She said she woke up when he went upstairs to take a shower. She estimated he went to work just after 7 in the morning
But investigators found the video in a culinary neighborhood when Miss Brophy was driving her old minivan in the area at the time of the murder. Mrs. Brophy testified that she had no memory of the period, theorizing that she may have been running a coffee run and was taking notes for her book writing. She said the conversation with the detectives came as she was overwhelmed by the news of her husband’s death.
In this week’s closing arguments, prosecutors acknowledged that their case was based on “all circumstantial evidence,” saying jurors would need to piece together “puzzle” pieces to reach its conclusion.
“Nancy is the only person who committed this crime,” Mr Overstreet told the jury.
Mrs Brophy and her defense team both happily married, planned for the future of travel and argued that the prosecution’s case was built on “suspicion” and “speculation”.
Defense Attorney Chris Weinmiller concluded this week’s argument: “The love that Nancy and Dan Brophy have had is simply not possible. This is the best proven fact in this trial.”
Defense attorneys leaned on neighborhood video surveillance, trying to suggest that perhaps the homeless person in the area had committed the murder. When police officers arrived at the scene, they showed the video at the interrogation of a man who was hiding behind a wall and looking in a bag. Investigators said they were unable to identify the man.
Although friends and family members testified that Brophy’s had a strong and cooperative relationship for nearly 25 years, prosecutors said Mrs. Brophy had the financial incentive to kill her husband, presenting evidence that the couple was struggling financially. They had moved to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of life insurance policies. Shortly after she killed her husband, she noted that she had heard from police that she was not a suspect.
During the hearing Ms. Prosecutors are prohibited from discussing Brophy’s “How to Murder Your Husband” blog post. But at the end of Ms. Brophy’s trial, she closed out some of the blog posts and concluded with a question that echoed some of her words: “If there is one thing you know about the assassination, is it that anyone can do it?”
Mrs Brophy said she “absolutely” trusts. He said if people are pushed into the corner or someone can be saved or murdered in anger. And financial problems could be the biggest cause of the murder, he said.
But she and her attorney argued that she did not have enough financial motivation to justify the murder, saying that the couple’s insurance policies were not uncommon and that she was not a beneficiary of everything. He said the fictional version of his case does not stand up to scrutiny.
“One editor laughs and says, ‘I think you have to work harder on this story. You have a kind of big hole in it,'” he said.