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Prosecution in Nancy Brophy trial rests case following testimony on couple's finances

Nancy Brophy is accused of fatally shooting her husband Dan at the Oregon Culinary Institute in June 2018. The defense's case begins Wednesday, April 27.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The prosecution rested its case on Day 12 of the Nancy Brophy trial Thursday, wrapping up with a second day of testimony from the financial investigator who analyzed Brophy and her husband's finances.

Romance novelist Nancy Brophy is accused of shooting and killing her husband, chef Daniel Brophy, at the Oregon Culinary Institute in June 2018. 

The prosecution claims Brophy stood to gain a significant amount of life insurance money from her husband's death. 

On Thursday, the state called to the stand financial investigator Bob Azorr with the Portland Police Bureau, who told jurors the couple was dealing with financial issues at the time of the murder. 

"I believe they were under financial distress," Azorr said. "It continued from the the savings spent down and from borrowing from the retirement fund that left them in a distressed situation."

Azorr answered detailed questions about the couple's bank account information, mortgage payments and equity, and determined that they were "were spending more than their normal household income," and at risk of running out of savings. 

The couple's financial situation has been a focal point for the prosecution throughout the trial, which began a little more than two weeks ago. The trial has been in session Monday through Thursday each week. 

On April 14, Brophy's stepson, who previously sued her in civil court for the wrongful death of his father, testified that Nancy Brophy demonstrated some anxiety about finances after Dan Brophy died. However, he said he remembered that shortly after, something changed and she indicated to him that the "coffers had refilled." He also said he'd never had a problem getting in touch with Nancy until "the day of the murder."

On April 13, an insurance expert, Steven Santos, testified that the Brophys were paying more than $800 a month, 20% of their gross incomes at the time, for policies amounting to more than $700,000 for Dan Brophy's life insurance alone. Santos said that wasn't a fiscally responsible amount to spend on life insurance for just one person.

Another major focal point has been the murder weapon used to fatally shoot Dan Brophy.

The state claimed Brophy on numerous occasions visited websites that sell ghost guns, which are untraceable because they don't have a serial number. Prosecutors also spoke about surveillance of a van that appears to have belonged to Nancy Brophy that was near the Oregon Culinary Institute on the morning of the murder. 

The defense will present its case beginning Monday, May 2. 

Editor's note: This article has been updated with a new date of May 2 for when the defense will present its case after Multnomah Circuit Court announced a positive COVID case of someone involved in the trial. 

Previous coverage of the Brophy trial:

APRIL 4: Romance novelist's 'How to Murder Your Husband' essay tossed out as evidence in day 1 of murder trial

APRIL 5: Tearful testimony from woman who performed CPR on Dan Brophy in second day of murder trial

APRIL 6: 'Dan was not a gun person': Mother and father of victim testify in romance novelist murder case

APRIL 11: Detective testifies to seeing van similar to accused murderer Nancy Brophy's in the area of the crime scene on surveillance video

APRIL 12: Surveillance shows van matching Brophy's in downtown Portland much earlier than previously disclosed

APRIL 13: Testimony focuses on 'inappropriately' high insurance premiums and gun in Nancy Brophy murder trial

APRIL 14: 'There wasn't a lot of quit in him': Son of victim takes the stand in Nancy Brophy case

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