The state has begun to make its case against Pamela Phillips, a former Tucsonan accused of having her ex-husband Gary Triano killed in 1996.

Deputy Pima County Attorneys Rick Unklesbay and Nicol Green have begun to call witnesses today, including Luis Ruben Lopez who was feet away from Triano's car when a pipe bomb exploded, killing Triano.

"I turned and saw like a mushroom cloud or a smoke cloud," Lopez said.

He and Triano had just finished having drinks after a round of golf at La Paloma on Nov. 1, 1996 and were walking back to their cars. Lopez said he heard the explosion just as he turned the key to unlock his car door.

He was the first person to see Triano after the bomb blast, which killed Triano almost instantly.

Phillips is accused of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. 

Testimony in the trial continues this afternoon. Read more about the case here and a timeline here.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or On Twitter @pm929.