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Thursday, 26 May 2022 – A jury in the United States has convicted a self-published romance novelist who once wrote an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband” of fatally shooting her husband four years ago.
The jury found Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday after deliberating over two days in chef Daniel Brophy’s death.
Mr. Brophy, 63, was killed on June 2, 2018, as he prepped for work at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Southwest Portland.
Lisa Maxfield, one of Crampton Brophy’s attorneys, said the defense team plans to appeal.
Prosecutors told jurors that Crampton Brophy was motivated by money problems and a life insurance policy.
Crampton Brophy said during the trial, however, that she had no reason to kill her husband and that their financial problems had largely been solved by cashing in a chunk of Brophy’s retirement savings plan.
She owned the same make and model of gun used to kill her husband and was seen on surveillance camera footage driving to and from the culinary institute, court exhibits and court testimony showed.
Police never found the gun that killed Brophy. Prosecutors alleged Crampton Brophy swapped out the barrel of the gun used in the shooting and then discarded the barrel.
Defense attorneys said the gun parts were the inspiration for Crampton Brophy’s writing and suggested someone else might have killed Brophy during a robbery gone wrong. Crampton Brophy testified during the trial that her presence near the culinary school on the day of her husband’s death was a mere coincidence and that she had parked in the area to work on her writing.
However, Crampton Brophy’s how-two treatise detailed various options for committing an untraceable killing and professed a desire to avoid getting caught.
Circuit Judge Christopher Ramras ultimately excluded the essay from the trial, noting it was published in 2011. A prosecutor, however, alluded to the essay’s themes without naming it after Crampton Brophy took the stand.
Crampton Brophy has remained in custody since her arrest in September 2018, several months after her husband was shot.
Her sentencing has been scheduled for June 13.