PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A witness who contacted Nancy Crampton Brophy’s defense attorneys last week says it wasn’t just their client who took an interest in guns — her dead husband had also asked questions.
The defense called a variety of witnesses Thursday, the 19th day of the trial. Among them included Anthony Hall who discussed talking to Daniel Brophy about guns, more of Crampton Brophy’s writing friends, and an expert witness who provided more detail about information found on the Brophys’ cell phones and laptops.
Crampton Brophy, an Oregon romance novelist, is accused of murdering her husband Daniel Brophy on June 2, 2018 at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland.
Here are the witnesses who testified in her trial Thursday:
- Anthony Hall, worked with Brophy at OCI
- Susan Lute, retired novelist, friends with Crampton Brophy
- Terri Reed, romance writer
- Barbara Dawson, owned a cooking store Brophy taught classes at until 2015
- Josiah Roloff, Digital forensic examiner at Roloff Digital Forensics
- Wendy Warren, romance writer
Here are takeaways from day 19 of the trial:
Brophy asked about guns
Anthony Hall testified in court Thursday, saying it wasn’t just Crampton Brophy who took an interest in firearms as Brophy had also asked him about them in the past.
Hall said he reached out to defense attorneys last week after he heard friends saying that they thought Brophy would never own a gun. The witness said he knew that wasn’t the case, because Brophy had expressed an interest in owning a gun.
Hall is a gun owner and he said one day in 2017, Brophy overheard him having a conversation about guns. Brophy chimed in and Hall said he told Brophy a few types of firearms that would be good for a first-time gun owner.
Sometime after that, when Hall was meeting up with Brophy to drop off leftover food to him, he decided to bring along a few of the firearms he’d mentioned. He said Brophy picked them up and felt them, but overall didn’t seem that interested.
About a month after the demonstration, Hall saw the Brophys at an event and said he had a similar conversation about guns with Crampton Brophy.
Hall said he never heard if the Brophys ever purchased a gun.
Friend says Crampton Brophy bought a gun kit
A third writer friend testified Thursday saying she heard Crampton Brophy say she had bought a gun kit. Two other writer friends testified Wednesday saying Crampton Brophy told them she’d bought a gun.
Susan Lute said she was riding in a car with Crampton Brophy and another of their writer friends as they traveled together to a writing conference. Lute had just woken up from a nap when she heard Crampton Brophy and the other friend brainstorming ideas for a story Crampton Brophy was working on.
In the course of the conversation, Crampton Brophy said she had purchased a gun build kit.
When the jury was asked to step out of the room after a prosecutor objected to hearsay, Lute shared more information about the conversation. She said Crampton Brophy admitted she bought the gun kit while telling her friends that the story she was working on was about a woman wondering how she could protect herself against her husband who threatened to hurt her if she ever tried to leave. Part of the conversation was about a woman putting together a gun with parts she’d bought online.
In their opening statement, Crampton Brophy’s defense attorneys said their client had purchased a gun kit as research for a story she was working on.
A closer look at Crampton Brophy’s browsing history
Defense attorneys asked their expert witness Josiah Roloff, a digital forensic examiner at Roloff Digital Forensics, to look at the Brophys’ phone records, phone locations and computer files.
When he testified Thursday, Roloff went over several things covered by the prosecution’s witnesses.
First, he looked closer at search history conducted on a laptop found at the Brophys’ home. The searches were conducted while the user “nancy” was logged in.
Roloff confirmed that the user did search for topics related to Glock 19s and Glock 17s and watched YouTube videos such as “Glock 17 Gen 4 DETAIL STRIP (Disassembly, Clean & Lube, Assembly),” “Top 10- Things You Didn’t Know About the Glock 17” and “How a glock Works (with Glock Cutaway).”
He pointed out that the person who watched these videos usually only watched them for several seconds or a couple minutes and never finished them entirely.
Roloff also said phone records from the Brophys’ cell phones show that Crampton Brophy was near the North Fork Wolf Creek Public Range on March 26 and 27, 2018, but he said there’s no way to know if she was actually at the range based on data transmissions made to cell towers by her phone. He said the transmissions could have come from any direction around the tower, not necessarily from the direction of the shooting range.
“The last thing I said to him…”
Wendy Warren, a romance writer friend of Crampton Brophy’s, said she and several of her other friends helped clean out the couple’s home after Brophy’s death.
At one time, when the women were walking past a sink together, Crampton Brophy pointed to it and said, “The last thing I said to him was ‘Dan, you’ve got to fix that sink.’” Warren said Crampton Brophy started to cry after saying that.
This remark aligns with what Crampton Brophy told police she said to Brophy before he left for work the day he was killed. She said she told him about a problem with the sink that needed to be fixed.