But investigators discovered video in the neighborhood of the culinary institute showing what was apparently Ms. Brophy driving her old minivan in the area around the time of the killing. Ms. Brophy testified that she had no memory of that time period, theorizing that she may have been making a coffee run and taking notes for her book writing. She said her conversation with detectives came as she was overwhelmed with the news of her husband’s death.
In closing arguments this week, prosecutors conceded that their case was based on “all circumstantial evidence,” saying that the jury needed to join together the pieces of “a puzzle” to reach its conclusion.
“Nancy is the only person who could have committed this crime,” Mr. Overstreet told the jury.
Defense lawyers also leaned on the neighborhood’s video surveillance, noting that homeless people appeared to be in the area that morning. One man hid behind a wall and looked in a bag when police officers arrived on scene that morning. Investigators said they were unable to identify the man.
Although friends and family members testified that the Brophys appeared to have a strong and collaborative relationship, which had lasted some 25 years, prosecutors said Ms. Brophy had a financial incentive to kill her husband, presenting evidence that the couple had been struggling financially and that she had moved to collect on life-insurance policies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. They noted that she had asked the police for a letter stating she was not a suspect just a few days after her husband’s killing.
Prosecutors were prohibited from discussing Ms. Brophy’s “How to Murder Your Husband” blog post during the trial. But at the conclusion of their questioning of Ms. Brophy, they covered some of the themes of the blog post, concluding with a question that echoed some of her wording: “If there is one thing that you know about murder, is it that anyone is capable of doing it?”
Ms. Brophy said she “absolutely” believes that. She said people can murder if they get pushed into a corner, or to protect somebody, or in a rage. And, she said, financial issues can be a big reason for murder.
But, she and her lawyers contended, she did not have sufficient financial motivation to justify murder, noting that the couple’s insurance policies were not unusual, and that she was not a beneficiary on all of them. She said a fictional version of her case would not stand up to scrutiny.