In 2011, self-published romance writer Nancy Crampton Brophy wrote an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband.” On Wednesday, she was convicted of murdering her husband.
Nancy, 71, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of her spouse, Daniel Brophy, 63.
The jury, made up of seven women and five men, deliberated for two days before reaching the guilty verdict.
According to The Associated Press, Nancy showed no visible reaction to the decision inside the crowded Multnomah County courtroom.
One of Nancy’s lawyers, Lisa Maxfield, said that the defence team is planning an appeal.
During the trial, Oregon prosecutors argued that Nancy’s motive for killing her husband was money, and that she wanted to cash in on a US$1.4-million insurance policy.
Nancy testified that she had no reason to kill her husband because their financial problems were largely solved by cashing in a chunk of Daniel’s retirement savings plan. Maxfield also argued before the court that Nancy’s financials deteriorated after her husband’s death.
Though police never found the murder weapon, court exhibits showed that Nancy owned the same make and model of gun used to kill her husband. Surveillance camera footage also shows her driving to and from the culinary institute on the day of his murder.
Prosecutors alleged that she swapped out the barrel of the gun used in the shooting and then discarded the barrel.
Defence counsel said the gun parts were the inspiration for Nancy’s writing and suggested someone else might have killed Daniel during a robbery gone wrong. Nancy testified during the trial that her presence near the culinary school on the day of her husband’s death was a mere coincidence and that she had parked in the area to work on her writing.
Nancy’s how-to guide gave readers various methods to get away with murder in the perfect crime. Yet the essay was excluded from trial evidence by Circuit Judge Christopher Ramras, who noted that it was published in 2011.
When Nancy took the stand, however, a prosecutor alluded to some of the themes in the essay without naming it.
She will be sentenced on June 13. She has been in custody since her arrest in September 2018.
— With files from The Associated Press
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