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Triano thought he was being trailed

Triano thought he was being trailed

Girlfriend's timeline matches suspect's Tucson visit in 1996

  • Updated

Gary Triano thought he was being followed in the months immediately before his death, his girlfriend at the time told jurors Friday.

Deborah Taylor Shoberg testified that Triano spotted someone following them several times starting in July 1996 and Triano also told her someone followed him once as he flew to Aspen, Colo.

One week before his death, Triano walked her to her car after lunch, saying he didn't want anyone to see her near his car, Shoberg said. He also requested that she stay away because he was convinced someone was watching him.

Prosecutors have presented evidence Ronald Young was in Tucson in July 1996, spending 18 days at a Ramada Inn a short distance from Triano's house.

Young, 67, is currently on trial on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in Triano's death. A pipe bomb killed the businessman outside the La Paloma Country Club on Nov. 1, 1996.

Prosecutors hope to prove that Triano's former wife, Pamela Phillips, hired Young to kill Triano, 52, for a portion of the $2 million she received from Triano's life insurance policy.

Shoberg was asked if she recognized the names of four people listed on two separate pieces of paper, one of which also listed addresses, employers and car descriptions.

Shoberg said one of the names was her maiden name and she acknowledged that in 1996 she did work for Southwest Gas on the southwest side of town and drove a Pontiac Grand Am.

The lists were discovered in a van rented by Young and found abandoned in Yorba Linda, Calif., one month prior to Triano's death. The list also included two of Triano's friends and his niece.

Of the three who have testified so far, all have testified they sometimes lent Triano their cars.

On cross-examination, Shoberg acknowledged that in previous conversations with authorities, she said Triano never borrowed her car and the stalking began one month before he was murdered.

Shoberg also confirmed she told police that Robin Gardner, one of Triano's former girlfriends, had threatened both of them in the months before he died. She downplayed Gardner's threats, attributing them to the fact Gardner was pregnant with Triano's youngest child at that time.

Young and Phillips were indicted in Triano's death in October 2008, and Young was arrested immediately thereafter in California. Phillips was arrested in Austria in December 2009 and is awaiting extradition.

The trial will resume Tuesday in Pima County Superior Court before Judge Christopher Browning.

On StarNet: The At the Courthouse blog at blogs/courthouse will keep you up to date on the trial.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or

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