A romance novelist who once wrote an essay titled ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ has been accused of fatally shooting her own husband.
The trial of Nancy Crampton Brophy began on Monday in Portland, Oregon. The self-published romance author has been in custody for the death of her husband of two decades, Daniel Brophy, since September of 2018.
Three months earlier, Daniel, 63, was shot in the kitchen of the Oregon Culinary Institute, where he taught cooking.
Now, the author of ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ and other mystery novels, including ‘The Wrong Husband,’ is on trial and charged with a single count of murder. Crampton Brophy pleaded not guilty to the charge. Her trial is expected to last seven weeks.
While the jury will be tasked with deciding whether Crampton Brophy murdered her husband, they will not be presented with her essay titled ‘How to Murder Your Husband.’
The trial judge ruled Monday that the 2011 essay would not be allowed as evidence because it was written years ago as part of a writing seminar and could unfairly prejudice the jury.
Lawyers in the trial have painted opposing pictures of Crampton Brophy.
Prosecutors said the couple was stuck in ‘financial despair,’ which fueled Crampton Brophy to shoot her husband in order to receive his $1.4 million life-insurance payout.
Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Shawn Overstreet told jurors the romance author was motivated by greed, and that she ‘executed what she perhaps believed to be the perfect plan.’
While the culinary school had no security cameras, nearby traffic cameras caught Crampton Brophy’s car on city streets near the institution around the time of the shooting.
Prosecutors say that she followed her husband to work and shot him with a Glock 9mm handgun she’d bought at a Portland gun show, which are the type of shell casings investigators recovered at the scene of the crime.
She had also bought a ‘ghost gun’ assembly kit that investigators found at a storage facility. ‘Ghost guns’ are unregistered and untraceable firearms.
Crampton Brophy’s defense attorneys have counter that argument claiming that the couple’s finances were improving before Daniel’s death. They also say that Crampton Brophy’s gun purchases were for book research and in light of mass shootings.
Her attorney, Lisa Maxfield, told jurors that the couple had ‘an unusually healthy and vibrant marriage, right up until the end.
‘After you’ve heard all the evidence in this case we are certain that you will understand that Nancy Brophy did not kill her husband,’ Maxfield said.
Crampton Brophy is expected to take the stand during the trial.