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Trial of romance novelist continues with testimony from her niece

The trial of romance novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy continued on Day 16 with family members testifying in her defense.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The trial of romance novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy continued Monday with the defense calling up family members to testify.

Crampton-Brophy is accused of shooting and killing her husband Daniel Brophy, who was an instructor at the Oregon Culinary Institute, in June of 2018. 

The defense claimed Crampton-Brophy and her husband were so in love that she would never have killed him. The state maintains Crampton-Brophy stood to gain a lot of money from her husband's death, and that she lied to police about her where she was the morning of the murder.

RELATED: Defense delivers opening statements on Day 13 of Nancy Brophy murder trial

Crampton-Brophy's niece, Sarah Gitchell, testified that she spent a lot of time with Crampton-Brophy after her husband was murdered. 

"I personally observed her grieving, crying, sobbing, breaking down many times," she said.

Gitchell said Crampton-Brophy and her husband seemed to have an ideal relationship. 

"She started talking about Dan and started crying and said this wasn't a part of the plan and said Dan being gone wasn't part of the plan, and 'what am I going to do now,'" Gitchell said. 

RELATED: Potential rebuttal witness says Brophy told her she was 'this far away' from husband when he was shot

Gitchell went on to tell jurors that her aunt never spoke about concerns in her marriage, and overlooked a lot of issues to keep the peace within her relationship. Gitchell said at the time of the murder, Crampton-Brophy was not concerned about her safety.

"We all just figured it had to be a random person off the street," she said. "Meth had started to become a problem in the area and people often behave erratically and violently."

There was also testimony from Crampton-Brophy's cousin, Vicki Schmall, who mainly focused on her relationship with Crampton-Brophy.

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