PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Multnomah County judge unsealed records in the case against Nancy Brophy Friday, providing new information into a high-profile murder case.
Brophy is the Portland murder mystery novelist accused of killing her husband, Daniel, last year at the Oregon Culinary Institute.
Brophy’s lawyers argued against the release of the records, saying it would impact her right to a fair trial. Judge Kenneth Walker disagreed, telling her lawyers they had until April 19 to try to change his mind.
The following is a summary of the just-released probable cause document filed when Nancy Crampton Brophy was arrested:
On June 2, 2018, Daniel left home, got to work, disarmed the alarm at 7:21 a.m. and was the only person at the Oregon Culinary Institute.
Thirteen minutes before the alarm is disabled, Nancy is seen on surveillance video driving her Toyota minivan directly in front of OCI. At 7:28 a.m., Nancy is again seen leaving the area of OCI, both times headed west.
Documents revealed investigators found the surveillance video from nearby Bellagio’s Pizza.
One of Daniel’s co-workers arrived at 7:30 a.m., but didn’t find his body in the rear kitchen until she let students come inside at 8 a.m.
Daniel was shot twice, once in the back and once in the chest. Both bullets — likely from a Glock 9mm handgun — pierced his heart and either could have been the fatal shot, the medical examiner said.
Investigators determined there was no sign of force or struggle, nor were there signs of robbery. Daniel still had all his personal items — wallet, cell phone, glasses, car keys — on his body.
Shortly after detectives arrived at the scene, Nancy Brophy also arrived in the same Toyota minivan. She said she had been home all morning and left when she got the call about an incident at OCI. She also said she couldn’t think of anyone who would want to hurt him.
Nancy told detectives she recently bought a Glock 9mm handgun but neither one of them ever used it. When detectives retrieved that gun, they determined it was not the weapon used to kill Daniel.
About 3 days later, Nancy asked for a letter from detectives stating she was not a suspect so she could give it to their life insurance company, and said Daniel’s policy was valued at $40,000.
Detectives did not give her that letter and later learned Nancy is the beneficiary on several insurance policies with a total value of more than $350,000. They also learned Nancy had worked in and sold life insurance policies in the past.
During the ensuing investigation, detectives looked at Daniel’s phone and found the married couple had a joint iTunes account. One of the bookmarked articles in that joint account was called, “10 ways to cover up a murder.”
In that iTunes bookmark was a suggestion that the best time to commit a crime is in the very early hours of the day when most people are asleep.
When she was arrested on September 5, 2018, Nancy said, “You must think I murdered my husband.”
Investigators said she never offered an explanation about why she lied about where she was on the morning of the murder, nor did she say anything about the life insurance money.
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