An Oregon writer accused of killing her husband says she’s innocent and wants out of jail, but recent court documents filed by the Multnomah County District Attorney details the motives of murder.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, failing romance mystery novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy, 68, was arrested in 2018on charges of “murder in the second degree with a firearm – constituting domestic violence,”
Prior to her arrest, Crampton Brophy penned a 2011 essay entitled “How to Murder Your Husband.” She also self-published several novels, including, in part, “The Wrong Husband” and “The Wrong Lover.”
Investigators said that on June 2, 2018, Crampton Brophy shot her husband of 27 years, Daniel Brophy, 63, at his workplace, the Oregon Culinary Institute. CCTV footage captured a minivan close to the scene that looked identical to Crampton-Brophy’s vehicle.
“Numerous area business [sic] had cameras that all showed a minivan that appeared to be the same minivan as the one Nancy Brophy was known to drive,” court documents read.
A medical examiner determined that Daniel Brophy had been shot twice in the back.
Crampton Brophy’s lawyers are now trying to get her out of jail. On Tuesday, they submitted a bail application asking for her release until trial, due to coronavirus concerns, The Oregonian reports.
During a two-day hearing earlier this week, Crampton Brophy sat in a Multnomah County courtroom wearing a surgical mask as testimony took place. Her lawyers previously argued that given her age and diabetes diagnosis, Crampton Brophy is at a heightened risk of “imminent death” after the COVID-19 outbreak.
Prosecutors claim she’s a risk and should stay behind bars while awaiting trial.
Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill argued that Crampton Brophy had dreams of selling her home and traveling the world. But she was struggling financially. She also didn’t think her husband would agree to sell the home.
According to court documents, Crampton Brophy paid $16,000 in insurance premiums during 2017, although she and her husband were behind on mortgage repayments by around $6,000.
Underhill said the suspect’s romance novels flopped. Broke and desperate for the life she wanted, Crampton Brophy allegedly killed her husband to get funds from his life insurance.
“Dan Brophy was content in his simplistic lifestyle, but Nancy Brophy wanted something more,” Underhill wrote. “As Nancy Brophy became more financially desperate and her writing career was floundering, she was left with few options.”
“Nancy Brophy planned and carried out what she believed was the perfect murder. A murder that she believed would free her from the grips of financial despair and enter a life of financial security and adventure.”
Portland police Detective Anthony Merrill testified during the hearing. He recalled that Crampton Brophy was at the scene in the morning Daniel Brophy had been shot, although she claimed she had been home when her husband left for work. She allegedly admitted that she had previously bought a 9mm handgun but never used it.
Investigators later recovered the 9mm gun. They determined the gun had not been used. Later, however, they learned that Crampton Brophy bought a replacement slide and barrel for the gun off of eBay, according to court documents. The replacement slide and barrel were never found.
Officials indicated that Daniel Brophy was likely shot with a 9mm gun.
Authorities said Crampton Brophy stood to get nearly $800,000 in life insurance from her husband and an additional $440,000 if he died at work.
“Because Dan Brophy had been killed at work, the SAIF Corporation determined that Nancy Brophy was the beneficiary of the accidental death benefit. In all, Nancy Brophy was entitled to over $1.15 million dollars between the life insurance and worker’s compensation policies.”
After reviewing the evidence submitted by the prosecution and listening to testimony, Circuit Judge Christopher Ramras denied Nancy Crampton Brophy’s bond.
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[Feature Photo: Nancy Crampton Brophy/Police Handout]