A jury in Portland has convicted a self-published romance novelist — who once wrote an essay called “How To Murder Your Husband” — of fatally shooting her husband four years ago.
The jury of seven women and five men found Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday after deliberating for two days over chef Daniel Brophy’s death, KOIN-TV reported.
Mr Brophy, 63, was killed on June 2 2018 as he prepared for work at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Southwest Portland.
Crampton Brophy displayed no visible reaction inside the crowded Multnomah County courtroom.
Lisa Maxfield, one of Crampton Brophy’s lawyers, said the defence team plans to appeal.
Prosecutors told jurors that Crampton Brophy was motivated by money problems and a life insurance policy.
Crampton Brophy said during the trial, however, that she had no reason to kill her husband and that their financial problems had largely been solved by cashing in a chunk of Mr Brophy’s retirement savings plan.
She owned the same make and model of gun used to kill her husband and was seen on CCTV footage driving to and from the culinary institute, court exhibits and court evidence showed.
Police never found the gun that killed Mr Brophy.
Prosecutors alleged Crampton Brophy swapped out the barrel of the gun used in the shooting and then discarded the barrel.
Defence lawyers said the gun parts were inspiration for Crampton Brophy’s writing and suggested someone else might have killed Mr Brophy during a robbery gone wrong.
Crampton Brophy claimed during the trial that her presence near the culinary school on the day of her husband’s death was mere coincidence and that she had parked in the area to work on her writing.
Crampton Brophy’s how-to treatise detailed various options for committing an untraceable killing and professed a desire to avoid getting caught.
Circuit Judge Christopher Ramras ultimately excluded the essay from the trial, noting it was published in 2011.
A prosecutor, however, alluded to the essay’s themes without naming it after Crampton Brophy took to the witness box.
Crampton Brophy has remained in custody since her arrest in September 2018, several months after her husband was shot.
Her sentencing has been scheduled for June 13.