PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Several witnesses who have testified so far in the Nancy Crampton Brophy trial said she lacked emotion after her husband’s death, but a good friend of the Brophys who testified Wednesday said that is how Nancy tends to react when things get tough.
Tania Medlin testified Wednesday morning, after which the prosecution is expected to rest its case in the trial. She was roommates with Nancy when Nancy was attending culinary school and knew Daniel Brophy through the industry before he and Nancy were married. She said she was close to both of them.
Nancy is on trial for allegedly murdering her husband Daniel at the Oregon Culinary Institue on June 2, 2018. Daniel was shot twice and died from his injuries.
In court, Medlin estimated she had known Nancy and Daniel for 25 to 30 years. She and Nancy stayed friends after they were roommates and after Nancy married Daniel.
“Nancy for a long, long, long time is just somebody I looked up to, somebody, you know, she was one of my dearest friends,” Medlin said.
She and her husband would usually see Nancy and Daniel a few times a year and she felt she could always call Nancy if she needed something or just wanted to talk.
In 2016, when Medlin was managing the kitchen at Avamere Rehabilitation in Beaverton, she said she called Nancy to ask if Daniel had any students at the time who needed any extra experience. Medlin needed another chef in her kitchen.
Daniel offered to do the work and take on the hours himself and in the year and a half before his death, Medlin said she’d grown close to Daniel too, by working with him.
Medlin said she was on the Oregon coast when Nancy called her to tell her Daniel had been killed in a shooting at the Oregon Culinary Institute. Medlin packed up her things and immediately returned to the Portland area. The day after Daniel’s death, Medlin went to Nancy’s house for a few hours to console her and see how she was doing.
She asked Nancy what happened. Nancy told her Daniel had left in the morning like he usually does and arrived at the school. Nancy said she wasn’t sure if a door was left unlocked or something, but that he was killed at OCI. Nancy told Medlin she was home writing in bed at the time it happened.
Medlin said she’s seen her friend fall apart before, but for the most part “Nancy is business.” Medlin said she’s straightforward, to the point and the way she handles obstacles is by putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. She said that’s what she saw Nancy doing after her husband died.
When Nancy’s brother died about a week after Daniel, Medlin said Nancy reacted in the same way.
Medlin said Nancy’s mindset was “This is what’s happening. This is what I’ve got to deal with.”
She said Nancy always appreciated that Daniel could make her laugh and that whenever Medlin complained to Nancy about her own husband, Nancy would remind her to choose her battles and offered sound advice.
After Daniel died, Medlin said she helped Nancy clear out the basement of her house. She said she heard that Nancy either wasn’t on the mortgage or wasn’t on the deed of the home and that’s why she was in a hurry to sell it, so she wouldn’t lose everything. She said Nancy had spoken to her about downsizing their home or moving before Daniel died.
Medlin said Nancy had talked to her about retirement and traveling with Daniel. Daniel seemed less interested in talking about retirement but did say he wished he had more time to go mushroom hunting.
Nancy and Medlin had discussed firearms briefly in the fall before Daniel was killed. Medlin was considering purchasing two 9mm guns to go target shooting with her goddaughter. Nancy said she was also considering getting a gift like that for Christmas, something she and Daniel could use together.
Medlin said she never ended up purchasing the guns she’d talked about, but she heard from Nancy in February that Nancy said she and Daniel had purchased a gun and that it was still in the box. They did not talk any more about the gun after that.
Another witness testified Wednesday morning who knew both Daniel and Nancy Brophy. Michele Reveneau said she cut both Brophys’ hair for years.
She said she never had conversations with the Brophys about their finances or personal life while cutting their hair, but would talk to them about their jobs and their family. Reveneau and her husband would occasionally have dinner with Daniel and Nancy.
When Reveneau first saw Nancy in late July 2018, after Daniel’s death, she gave Nancy a hug and shared her condolences. Reveneau said she was sad and shocked and upset, but that Nancy wasn’t crying.
Reveneau said she spoke to a detective after Daniel’s death and said that up until he died, it had seemed like the Brophys had a good marriage.
The other two witnesses to testify Wednesday morning both worked for SAIF Corporation at the time of Daniel’s death. SAIF is a workers compensation carrier for the state of Oregon.
The first witness, Andria Alderson-Such, worked as a senior claims adjuster at the time. She spoke to Nancy about six days after Daniel died and explained to her that the spousal benefit was just under $2,800 per month.
While SAIF could have withheld the money until after police completed their investigation, Alderson-Such and her manager decided on July 30 they were going to voluntarily pay interim benefits to Nancy. They felt it was the right thing to do. SAIF paid her two months of benefits that went out to her on July 31.
On Sept. 6, 2018, Alderson-Such’s manager heard Nancy had been arrested and Alderson-Such put a stop payment on the check that had been sent out the week before.
The second SAIF employee to take the stand, Stephanie Eakin, worked as an investigator for the company at the time.
She joined the case after Nancy was arrested and completed a report that stated the “theft amount” Nancy had already received, along with the potential theft she could receive from all future pay-out amounts, which was predicted to total more than $400,000 over the years.