Witness says Phillips wanted ex-husband Triano dead

2014-02-27T12:46:00Z 2014-02-27T14:13:47Z Witness says Phillips wanted ex-husband Triano deadPatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A former friend of Pamela Phillips testified Thursday that Phillips told her she wanted to have her ex-husband killed.

Phillips is on trial in Pima County Superior Court for the murder of her ex-husband Gary Triano, who died in 1996 when a pipe bomb exploded in his car.

The witness, Laura Chapman, testified that Phillips confided to her in 1993 or 1994 that she wanted to have Triano murdered.

"She said it would be easy to do, he was so predictable and played golf every day," Chapman said.

She said Phillips made the statements to her and another woman following an argument with Triano.

Chapman said Phillips called her and was upset after Triano came to Phillips home and brandished a firearm.

Chapman said she thought Phillips' statement was made out of emotion and decided not to speak with the police about it, even years later when she learned Triano had been killed in the explosion.

"I feared for my safety and my children," she testified.

She ultimately did come forward with the information in 2011, following a chance encounter with one of Triano's daughters.

Phillips' defense attorney, Alicia Cata, questioned Chapman's memory of the events.

Cata asked whether the brain surgery Chapman had to remove a tumor years after the discussion with Phillips had left her memory clouded.

Chapman said she has not experienced any memory loss.

Cata also asked how much media coverage of the case Chapman had read, to which Chapman said she read newspaper stories about the case over the years.

During the pretrial stage, Cata and defense attorney Paul Eckerstrom sought Chapman's medical records. They argued Chapman may have confabulated events she witnessed with those she read or viewed in media because of her surgery.

Read a recap of the case and a timeline of events here.

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

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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