PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Friday, instead of holding another trial date for Nancy Crampton Brophy, the defense brought people to the stand to question the validity of a witness who shared a jail space with Brophy.
The witness in question is Anndrea D. Jacobs, who was sentenced in January 2021 to federal prison for tax crimes and bank fraud and was in jail at the same time as Brophy from January 2021 to March 2021, according to the court. A lawyer for Jacobs was subpoenaed for documents pertaining to Jacobs’ case and a motion was filed to quash the order.
Multnomah County Circuit Judge Christopher A. Ramras quashed the subpoena after an attorney for said lawyer argued that the 24-hour notice to provide the documents is not in line with the 20 days to provide the documentation. There was also a question as to what was admissible regarding client-attorney privileges.
It was also unclear if Jacobs had new counsel. The court said she was jailed in Texas but was en route to Oregon to testify in the case.
The defense had questions if Jacobs was offered a deal by authorities about a previous criminal matter or other criminal charges she could possibly face in the future.
In their argument, the defense said Jacobs knew at the beginning of 2021 that she would be facing potential prosecution. Judge Ramras then requested more information on the concrete offer presented to Jacobs by the Oregon Department of Justice.
Another lawyer for Jacobs was also subpoenaed for information.
The attorney, who was representing the lawyer in question, argued the conversations between Brophy and Jacobs were after the sentence. The defense argued the information would be important to know if Jacobs’ lawyer used the information to get her a better deal.
The defense also said it was suspicious Jacobs was held that long with Brophy but did acknowledge the coronavirus pandemic as a factor, as well.
A recent lawyer for Jacobs, Grant Hartley, was also subpoenaed for producing information about Jacobs, but he motioned to quash the order. One of the reasons given to rescind the order was because Hartley did not know if there were any files with non-client-attorney privilege information.
Brophy’s lawyers countered by saying there is such information based on the DOJ investigation.
The judge decided to hold the rule on this motion until hearing from another person named by the defense.
First on the stand: Alicia Hercher
The defense asked Hercher about a conversation she had with Prosecuting attorney Shawn Overstreet a year or two ago regarding a previous client of Hercher named Catherine Wells. Hercher testified that Overstreet spoke about Wells with Overstreet because her client was looking for opportunities to settle her case.
Hercher said Overstreet told her Wells was jailed with Brophy, but she said she did not know who Brophy was at the time.
Overstreet later countered Hercher’s recounting of the conversation.
Hercher said the conversation took place in a hallway while Overstreet said Hercher called him about Wells. Once Hercher presented Wells with the opportunity to speak with Overstreet about Brophy, she said her client became angry with the proposal.
Overstreet said he later spoke with Hercher in a hallway when she gave him an update on Wells not willing to talk to him.
Second on the stand: Donna Maddux
Maddux now works at a private firm, but she once worked for the U.S. District Attorneys’ Office and worked on two cases regarding Jacobs.
The Attorney’s Office gave the green light for Maddux to discuss what’s on record.
Once the defense began questioning Maddux, they noted the negotiated settlement for both of Jacobs’ plea deals. There was no trial in either case with an agreement of four years of imprisonment.
Maddux agreed with the defense that deals like these were rare in federal court in fraud cases.
Maddux called Jacobs’ cases “extraordinary” due to the charges. She remembers telling the court Jacobs posed a risk for lying.
“I think, as I said at the hearing, the fact that (Jacobs) says something is true has no bearing on the truth, and that there has to be something else for Ms. Jacobs because she has shown herself to be such a prolific and skilled liar,” Maddux said.
Once the prosecution questioned Maddux, she acknowledged that four years for fraud in Oregon was common. Maddux did add that Jacobs did not get a deal on her sentence based on giving information.
Third on the stand: Curtis Haunie
Haunie is a dentist in Hood River who hired Jacobs as an independent contractor at his dental practice. He told the court he was made aware of checks being deposited outside of the business’ account.
Despite Jacobs working in the administrative area, she had no authority to open mail, added Haunie, who called Jacobs a “wonderful actress.” He said Jacobs’ behavior wouldn’t signal she was the person cashing the checks.
Once he learned she was the one cashing the checks, Haunie told the court Jacobs was calm, proposed solutions to resolve the situation and later left the business. Haunie did not describe Jacobs as nervous during the confrontation.
There was no cross-examination of Haunie by the prosecution.
Fourth on the stand: Rhonda Slavic
The defense called Slavic to the stand because her brother was in business with Jacobs – the two later declared bankruptcy. She said her family had concerns about the integrity of the business.
Slavic did admit her brother had a romantic relationship with Jacobs at some point.
As for concerns Slavic had, she said Jacobs told her she was being treated for cancer at Oregon Health & Science University but later found out that wasn’t true. She also told the court Jacobs told her she received a $20M settlement.
Slavic added that Jacobs handled the billing in the business with her brother before losing her connection as she took the stand remotely.
Fifth on the stand: John Tseng
Tseng works as a Medicare fraud investigator. The judge asked Tseng if negotiations with Jacobs’ lawyer at the time — Hartley — centered around Jacobs providing information on other criminal matters, which Tseng negated.
After Tseng’s testimony, the judge decided to quash the subpoena issued to Hartley.
Outside of the stand
Brophy’s lawyers presented excerpts between a detective and Jacobs in court. The detective did say he could not promise Jacobs anything without hearing first what she had to say regarding Brophy.
Overstreet later addressed the court and said the prosecution was not aware of anything Jacobs is being investigated on. He added that Jacobs will appear in court next week but is not a happy witness because he has made it clear that there is nothing specific for her to gain.
Towards the end of the day, a defense lawyer for Brophy noted that Jacobs has a record of fooling doctors and others. The defense then requested six months to be able to properly prepare for Jacobs’ testimony in court.
The prosecution argued that the defense wants to push the trial for six months to have a greater reason for the judge to throw out the witness. As for the defense, Brophy’s lawyers said they would have wanted to know about this witness sooner to have more time to prepare.
Overstreet then noted a letter Wells sent to Brophy, which he says mentions Jacobs saying she had something to say about Brophy’s case. He also noted that the prosecution did not technically have this letter in their possession because letters are only copied when sent to inmates and then delivered to the sender.
He then argued that because Brophy had received the letter, the defense technically knew about Jacobs at an earlier time.
The prosecution added that strong opinions about Jacobs should not be a reason to throw her out as a witness but did acknowledge her colorful history.
At the end of the day, Judge Ramras decided to table the motion on Jacobs as a witness to Monday, May 16.