PORTLAND, Ore. — Lawyers for the woman accused of killing her husband at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland are arguing for her to be moved out of jail and into home detention during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Nancy Crampton-Brophy was arrested in September 2018 for murder, three months after Daniel Brophy was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds at the culinary school where he was an instructor.
According to court documents, Crampton-Brophy’s attorneys are asking for her to be transferred to “home detention with GPS monitoring and round-the-clock curfew.”
They argue that she is “at risk of imminent death in jail” because she is in a high-risk category for serious complications from COVID-19. Court documents state that Crampton-Brophy has medical conditions, including diabetes, and will turn 70 years old in June.
Crampton-Brophy’s lawyers said she has taken steps to avoid the virus, but she is afraid of coming into contact with other inmates or food service workers while outside her cell for meals. They claim that “jail staff flatly refused, in writing, to provide her with protein shakes at her cell.”
In court documents, her lawyers claim that “the lack of medically necessary sanitation and separation at the jail expose her to an unreasonable, unacceptably high risk of fatal infection” if a COVID-19 outbreak happens at the jail.
On its website, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said that it has put enhanced screening procedures in place for new arrivals at the jail, which includes screening for COVID-19 symptoms, testing and enforcing social distancing.
The sheriff’s office also said it has set up specialized housing units for new inmates while they are being screened, before releasing them into an open dorm. It is also “conducting enhanced facility cleaning” in the jail, and has temporarily canceled all inmate programs, according to its website.
Crampton-Brophy’s lawyers said that if she is released to home detention, they have a plan for her to stay in a guest house in the Portland area. They said that “food and groceries would be brought to her,” and she would not have any visitors besides medical professionals and her attorneys.
Crampton-Brophy’s next court hearing is on April 20. It was scheduled before her lawyers filed this motion, so it is unclear if it will be discussed at that time.
The day after her husband was found dead, Crampton-Brophy shared the news of his murder on Facebook, saying in part, “while I appreciate all of your loving responses, I am overwhelmed.” She then spoke at a memorial for her husband.
Days after the shooting, she asked detectives to send her a letter stating she was not a suspect so she could give it to her insurance company. She was not given the letter, and detectives learned she was the beneficiary of several life insurance policies valued at more than $350,000, according to court documents.
Crampton-Brophy was a romance novelist who wrote an essay in 2011 called “How to Murder Your Husband.” Court documents show she also had a bookmarked article on her iTunes account titled “10 ways to cover up a murder.”
Crampton-Brophy has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 28.