PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Six minutes was all the time Nancy Crampton Brophy needed to wind her way through the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, 2018, and fire two bullets through her husband’s heart, the prosecution stated in its rebuttal closing arguments Tuesday, before the jury began its deliberations. 

The murder trial for Crampton Brophy began on April 4 and on the 27th day of trial, the jury stepped away to decide if the romance novelist would be found guilty. They did not reach a decision by the end of their day Tuesday.

Crampton Brophy is accused of murdering her husband, beloved chef Daniel Brophy, while he was in a kitchen of the Oregon Culinary Institute filling a water jug that Saturday morning. Crampton Brophy was arrested for the murder on September 5, 2018, and has remained in jail since then.

Complete KOIN coverage: The murder trial of Nancy Brophy

Tuesday morning, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Shawn Overstreet had an opportunity to fire back at the statements the defense made in its closing arguments Monday. 

He said the defense fed the jury several red herrings — statements to mislead or distract them. Overstreet said a few examples of those red herrings include the defense repeatedly pointing out that there were suspicious people in the area, even though several of the defense’s own witnesses testified that June 2, 2018, seemed like a normal day near OCI; that there was a person who appeared to be a lookout near the building, even though this person was on camera after the time Brophy was likely killed; and that they believe Brophy’s red bag was missing, even though no one knows if Brophy brought a red bag to work with him that day. 

Overstreet encouraged the jury to look at the hard evidence. He said the defense stated that the Brophys were considering moving to Vernonia, but the jury never heard anything about what housing they were looking for in the area or if they could afford it. 

He said the defense argued that the prosecution’s witness did not look at other cell phone towers near Vernonia on the day it alleges Crampton Brophy visited a gun range off Highway 26. However, Overstreet said their expert witness looked at towers within a 10-mile radius of the gun range. 

He also said the defense’s argument that Crampton Brophy didn’t have the gun handling experience to shoot her husband squarely in the chest or back wasn’t sound because she likely wasn’t that far away, maybe even an arm’s length away, when she pulled the trigger. 

“This isn’t the world’s luckiest shot as defense would have you believe. This was calculated. Now, did she intend to sever his spine, intend to go through his heart or lungs or anything? I don’t know. But she squared up and shot him straight through the back,” Overstreet said. 

Nancy Crampton Brophy Trial Day 27
Multnomah County Deputy District Shawn Overstreet delivers rebuttal closing arguments to the jury in the Nancy Crampton Brophy murder trial on May 24, 2022.

As for the second shot, he said it didn’t require any precision at all. Overstreet stated Brophy was likely lying on his back, paralyzed when his wife stood over him and fired a second time. 

A medical examiner who testified in the trial also stated that the bullet fired through Brophy’s chest did not exit fully, indicating his back was pressed against a hard surface, like a wall or the floor. 

“Ms. Winemiller told you that the last time Nancy saw Dan was that morning when they talked about the leak. The reality is the last time Nancy saw Dan was when she stood over him… looked into his eyes and pulled that trigger one last time,” Overstreet said. 

The defense had argued that even if their client was nearby at the time her husband was killed, she wouldn’t have had enough time to commit the crime. Overstreet argued otherwise. He said Crampton Brophy knew her way around OCI, knew how to get in and out, knew there weren’t any cameras in the building and that the timing of her vehicle being seen in the area coincides with the approximate time of Brophy’s death. 

He said for someone who had a plan, 5 ½ to 6 minutes was enough time for her to go in, shoot him, and get out. 

He also said the defense’s argument about Crampton being better off monetarily if her husband hadn’t died is not true. He pointed out that the defense’s expert witness, Dr. Daniel Rubenson, said he estimated the total economic loss of Brophy to his wife to be $1.13 million. This is how much Brophy would have contributed to the household financially and through household services for the next 17 years after his death. 

Nancy Crampton Brophy Trial Day 27
Prosecutors shared this photo of Daniel Brophy while delivering rebuttal closing arguments on May 24, 2022. Nancy Crampton Brophy is accused of murdering her husband, Daniel Brophy, at the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, 2018. (KOIN)

However, the life insurance and workers’ compensation Crampton Brophy could have claimed after her husband died totaled approximately $1.6 million, which is more than he could have contributed, had he lived. 

Overstreet pointed out that in her own testimony, Crampton Brophy contradicted several points the defense had tried to make. Crampton Brophy said she handled the handgun she’d purchased, even took the slide and barrel off of it. Her defense attorneys painted a picture that she had no experience using it. 

Defense attorneys also said Crampton Brophy purchased the slide and barrel that detectives never found through a link or a pop-up advertisement, but Crampton Brophy testified saying she’d sought it out and bought it intentionally. Crampton Brophy herself admitted she was driving around near OCI the morning her husband was murdered. 

“They had a script that they were trying to follow, a narrative that they needed you to believe and they messed it up over and over and over because it’s all lies,” Overstreet said. 

He asked the jury to make their decision based on evidence and said the confusion caused by the defense is not reasonable doubt. He said they’ve given the jurors the puzzle pieces and although some pieces might be missing, they can still step back to see the full picture of what happened. 

“Nancy is guilty of murdering her husband and it’s now up to you to to deliver the justice for Chef Dan Brophy and the rest of the Brophy family,” Overstreet said. 

A guilty verdict in the case must be unanimous among the jury. A not-guilty verdict does not need to be unanimous, it only requires 10 jurors to believe she is not guilty. 

Judge Christopher Ramras said he would try to notify the court 30 minutes before announcing the jury’s verdict. 

Nancy Crampton Brophy Trial Day 27
Judge Christopher Ramras gives the jury directions before they deliberate on the verdict of Nancy Crampton Brophy on May 24, 2022. (KOIN)

In its closing arguments Monday, Crampton Brophy’s defense team said their client did not have a motive to kill her husband. 

Defense attorney Kris Winemiller said the Brophys were paying down their debts when Brophy was killed and said the slide and barrel that wasn’t seated properly on the handgun police collected does not prove anything. 

“The overwhelming majority of the information you have heard does not support the state’s version of facts, that that speculative theory about how the facts might fit together, that might have happened isn’t sufficient,” Winemiller said. “Instead, the evidence that you’ve been presented calls very strongly for a verdict of not guilty.”

KOIN 6 News will post a new article with the jury’s verdict.