PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A newly-found witness suggested in court Thursday that it wasn’t just accused murderer Nancy Crampton Brophy who had taken an interest in firearms before her husband’s murder, but her husband as well. 

Anthony Hall said he contacted Crampton Brophy’s defense team on Thursday, May 5 to tell them he might have useful information. Hall said he’d heard from friends that the prosecution was attempting to suggest Daniel Brophy, Crampton Brophy’s husband, was not aware or on-board with the couple’s purchase of a gun. 

But according to Hall, Brophy had asked him about guns the year before he was killed. 

Crampton Brophy is accused of fatally shooting her husband inside the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland on June 2, 2018. 

In 2017, Hall said he was having a conversation with another person about firearms. Brophy heard what they were talking about and chimed into the conversation. 

Hall said the conversation was very brief, but he had mentioned a few types of firearms to Brophy that might be good for first-time gun owners, if he was interested. 

At a later date, when Hall was bringing Brophy some leftover food from one of the events he’d catered, Hall decided to bring along three types of guns he’d mentioned to Brophy to give him a chance to see and feel them. He said Brophy picked up the guns and felt them, but didn’t seem overly interested in guns. 

He said about a month after that demonstration, he saw the Brophys at an event with mutual friends. Hall said he spoke to Crampton Brophy about guns at the event, but said he only reiterated what he had told Brophy. 

He said he never heard if the Brophys ever purchased a gun of their own. Hall offered to take the Brophys out shooting, but neither of them ever took him up on it. 

Hall said he reached out to the prosecution because several people told him recently that they didn’t think Brophy would ever have a gun in his home, but Hall didn’t think that was true based on their conversation. 

The morning of the 19th day of trial, on Thursday, the defense also called two more of Crampton Brophy’s romance writing friends: Susan Lute and Terri Reed. 

Nancy Crampton Brophy Trial Day 19
Susan Lute testifies in the Nancy Crampton Brophy trial on May 11, 2022. Nancy is accused of killing her husband at the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, 2018. (KOIN)

Lute said she’d been friends with Crampton Brophy since 2003 and had also known Brophy well. She’d stayed the night at their house before and saw Crampton Brophy frequently. In the time she spent with them, she never noticed anything concerning about the Brophys’ relationship. She said it was a loving relationship and the two were good friends. 

For her own writing projects, Lute said she’s invested in purchasing odd items, like a crossbow, to research if she plans to write about them. 

Lute rode with Crampton Brophy and another romance writer, Darla Lukenbaugh, on a trip to the coast for a writers retreat before Brophy’s murder. Lute testified saying she woke during the drive to hear Lukenbaugh and Crampton Brophy brainstorming an idea for a story Crampton Brophy was coming up with. 

After the prosecution objected to hearsay, the jury was escorted out of the courtroom. While they were out, Lute told the attorneys and judge that Crampton Brophy’s story idea involved a woman wondering how she could protect herself against her husband who threatened to hurt her if she ever tried to leave. Part of Crampton Brophy’s idea involved the woman putting together a gun with parts she’d bought online. 

In the context of this conversation, Lute said Crampton Brophy told them she had purchased a ghost gun build kit. 

Lute was not allowed to share all these details when the jury returned to the courtroom, but she could say she woke to Crampton Brophy and Lukenbaugh brainstorming for a story Crampton Brophy was working on and that in the course of that conversation, Crampton Brophy said she had purchased a gun kit. 

Reed testified and said she’s practiced shooting guns as part of research for the novels she writes. She also said she’s gone to writing workshops where employees from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives present.