PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Several Portland-area romance writers took the stand Wednesday to testify for the defense about their friend, accused murderer Nancy Crampton Brophy. 

Nancy, a romance novelist herself, is accused of killing her husband Daniel Brophy at the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, 2018. 

Wednesday marked the 18th day of the trial and the jury heard from four romance writers who worked with Nancy and participated in a local romance writers club with her. Most of them said they’d heard Nancy had bought or planned to buy a gun before her husband was murdered. 

Earlier in the morning, Dr. Patricia Warford finished explaining how she conducted psychological evaluations on Nancy. Her testimony lasted most of the day Tuesday.

These are the witnesses who testified Wednesday:  

  • Dr. Patricia Warford, psychologist who performed evaluations on Nancy
  • Linda Smith, Nancy’s writing partner 
  • Darla Lukenbaugh, Oregon romance writer
  • Kimberly Tuttle-Kirk, co-owner of Threat Dynamics shooting range
  • Delilah Ahrendt, Oregon romance novelist  
  • Jessica Smith, Oregon romance writer 

Here are takeaways from the 18th day of the trial: 

Nancy allegedly told friends she’d bought a gun 

Nancy Crampton Brophy Trial Day 18
Writer Jessica Smith 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)

Darla Lukenbaugh and Jessica Smith both testified Crampton Brophy told them she bought a gun kit. Linda Smith said her friend Nancy told her she had planned to purchase a gun, but Smith said she never heard if Nancy ended up buying it. They never talked about it again after that. 

The witnesses could not elaborate on why Nancy told them she had purchased a gun because the prosecution objected to hearsay and the judge sustained it. 

Smith said Nancy had told her she planned to purchase a gun sometime in 2017. 

Did Nancy purchase the gun for writing research? 

In its opening statement, Nancy’s defense suggested she had purchased a gun before her husband’s death because she planned to study it up close for a new novel she was working on. The defense said this wasn’t the first time Nancy had purchased an item for research and said she had bought things like night-vision goggles and a telescope in the past. 

While Nancy’s writer friends could not elaborate on Nancy’s reasons for purchasing a gun, Smith said the topic of purchasing a gun came up in a conversation when they were talking about how they research their stories. 

Nancy Crampton Brophy Trial Day 18
Defense attorneys for Nancy Crampton Brophy presented this exhibit as evidence in her murder trial on May 11, 2022. Romance writer Delilah Ahrendt says she purchased this Victorian chastity belt as part of her research for a novel. (KOIN)

The other writers said it is helpful to study and handle items before writing about them. 

Delilah Ahrendt, a Portland-area romance novelist, said she once spent $700-$800 on purchasing a Victorian chastity belt so she could study it. 

“As a writer, I feel that I cannot encompass certain things unless I have a sense of the weight,” she said. 

Nancy never visited Sherwood shooting range 

Kimberly Tuttle-Kirk is the co-owner of Threat Dynamics, a shooting range in Sherwood. She said investigators came to her and asked her to check her business records to see if anyone named Nancy Brophy had used her facilities. 

Tuttle-Kirk said all students who take classes at the facility must register and anyone who uses the live-fire range must sign a liability waiver. She went through all the company’s paperwork dating back to 2010 and didn’t find anything that included the name Nancy Brophy. 

Brett Glendinning, who sold Nancy a Glock 17 handgun at a Portland gun show in February 2018, said he wrote down two places where Nancy could take her new handgun to shoot it. One was Threat Dynamics. 

The other was the North Fork Wolf Creek Public Range west of Beaverton on Highway 26. This location does not require any sort of sign-in. 

Investigators from the Portland Police Bureau testified saying they believe cell phone records show Nancy near the North Fork Wolf Creek Public Range in March 2018, before Daniel was murdered. 

Defense testimony is expected to continue at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.