Woman pleads not guilty to murdering husband at Oregon Culinary Institute

Nancy Brophy pleaded not guilty to a murder charge at an arraignment on Sept. 17, 2018. She's accused of murdering her husband inside the Oregon Culinary Institute. KATU photo

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 68-year-old woman accused of shooting and killing her husband at the Oregon Culinary Institute was arraigned Monday morning.

Nancy Lee Crampton Brophy pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. She’s accused of killing her husband, Daniel C. Brophy.

Daniel Brophy was a beloved chef and educator at the Oregon Culinary Institute. He was found dead inside the building on Saturday, June 2.

According to a court document, investigators believe Nancy Crampton Brophy killed him with a 9mm pistol.

Brophy spoke at her husband's public memorial days after he was found dead.

Nancy Crampton Brophy was arrested at her Beaverton home on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Brophy, a romantic novelist, wrote books about relationships that were “wrong” but “never felt so right.” Her book covers often featured bare-chested men. In “The Wrong Cop,” she wrote about a woman who “spent every day of her marriage fantasizing about killing” her husband.

In 2011, she published a 700-word essay to See Jane Publish titled, "How to Murder Your Husband." The essay listed five motives, including divorce, falling in love with someone else, lying and cheating, profession and abuser.

The post is no longer public, but archived versions are available online.

Brophy’s 12-person trial is scheduled to start Oct. 26 at 9 a.m., but criminal defense attorney Robert Crow says that's likely to be delayed.

Crow, who is not working the case and only speaking on general terms, says murder trials sometimes get delayed for a year as attorneys review evidence, build their cases and schedule with the assigned judge.

Crow says it's also possible trial is avoided, if Brophy decides to change her plea to guilty. Still, he says, prosecutors and the district attorney would have to agree because the case involves a serious Measure 11 charge.

If the case moves to a trial, jury selection is a crucial step. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys have say in selecting jurors.

Because Brophy's case has garnered national attention, Crow says it may be very difficult to find jurors who are unaware of the story. He says jurors will be questioned by the court first, then further questioned by prosecuting and defense attorneys.

Crow has worked a number of murder cases. He says generally attorneys with the best theory wins.

"Usually, you come up with a theory of self-defense or... has an alibi or whatever else," Crow told KATU.

Crow used the O.J. Simpson murder trial as an example.

"One of the most famous theme or theory in criminal law is, 'if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.'" citing Simpson's defense counsel Johnny Cochran. "It’s something pretty easy for people to remember, pretty direct."

Crow says state prosecutors will likely be heavily relying on forensics, physical evidence and witness testimony.

Brophy is expected to remain in jail until an outcome is reached in her case.

Multnomah County Judge Kenneth Walker is assigned to the case.

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