'Surprising Twist' in Trial of Oregon Romance Novelist

Prosecutors say Nancy Crampton Brophy slipped in conversation with cellmate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2022 12:30 AM CDT
'How to Murder Your Husband' Author Allegedly Incriminated Herself
In this screen shot from video of her court appearance, romance writer Nancy Crampton Brophy appears in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 6, 2018.   (Multnomah County Circuit Court/Courtesy of The Oregonian via AP, File)

(Newser) – In what the Oregonian calls a "surprising twist" in the murder trial of Oregon romance novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy, a prosecutor last week argued that a new witness should be brought in to testify as a rebuttal witness after the defense presents its case—because, Senior Deputy District Attorney Shawn Overstreet said, Crampton Brophy allegedly confessed to the murder in question to this potential witness. While speaking to a cellmate about her husband's fatal shooting, Overstreet said, "Ms. Brophy held her arms apart, like a wingspan, and said, ‘I was this far away when the shooting happened.' She then corrected herself" and said the shooting simply took place at close range, and seemed embarrassed at the slip of the tongue, he added.

Included in a letter Crampton Brophy received in March was a reference to the incident, and authorities eventually tracked down Andrea Jacobs, Crampton Brophy's former cellmate who is now at a federal prison camp in Texas, in April. The judge in the murder trial asked for written arguments from both sides by Wednesday, and will make a decision on whether to allow Jacobs to testify after that. "To respond to this would require a significant investigation,” said one defense attorney. “It’s just simply too late, after they’ve rested, to bring in another witness of this magnitude." Crampton Brophy is accused of murdering her husband for insurance money, but defense witnesses have testified that their marriage was a loving one and they were financially secure, KOIN reports. (Read more Oregon stories.)

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