Crime Trackers

Feb 27, 2014 8:37 PM by Lupita Murillo

Emotional testimony from Gary Triano's oldest daughter

TUCSON - The Pamela Phillips murder-for-hire trial continued Thursday. 56-year-old Phillips is charged with murder in the 1996 car-bomb death of her former husband, Gary Triano.

Prosecutors say she wanted his $2 million life insurance policy to keep up her lavish lifestyle after their divorce. The defense claims she didn't need the money, and there were other people who killed Triano.

But it was the shocking testimony from the states witness who claimed Phillips told her and another friend of her plans to have Gary Triano killed. Laura Chapman told the jury, Phillips said "I should hire someone to have him taken out."

Laura Chapman was on the witness stand most of the morning. She was close friends with Gary and Pam Triano while they were married.

Sometime after the couple split, Phillips called Chapman and another friend and told them that Triano had threatened her with a weapon and she was scared. Chapman couldn't remember the year whether it was ‘93 or ‘94, but she's certain of what she heard and it was while Phillips was living in the house she shared with Triano during the marriage.

Triano had moved out. Chapman claimed Phillips told them "That the insurance policy was a $2,000,000 policy but if it was accidental death it would be double indemnity to $4,000,000."

Chapman told the court, in 1996 when the bombing took place, she immediately called her friend and they decided not to go to the authorities. "If I came forward that there might be some sort of threat to me and my children."

However, she did tell her husband about the conversation Phillips had with her and another friend. But it wasn't until 2011 when she ran into Triano's daughter Heather that she told her, "I have some information for you. You might want to hear."

Chapman also told the court she was diagnosed and treated for a brain tumor in 2005. The defense tried to weaken her testimony by saying perhaps her memory wasn't that clear.

Her former husband, Paul Schloss, backed up her story during his testimony.

Heather Triano Klindworth also took the stand. She was very emotional and tearful at times. Superior Court Judge Richard Fields asked the media not to show her face.

Klindworth testified on the day her father was murdered, she was working and planning on attending his surprise birthday party. "I was trying to figure out what to get him for a present. I was at work, I ended up running late because I ended typing a poem that was sort of our poem."

Her mother broke the news about her father's death. Triano then moved to New York City and was visited numerous times by Pam Phillips who asked her to come to Aspen to help her with a business call Starbabies.

She lived with Phillips for eight months.

Prosecutor Rick Unklesbay asked if she knew a person by the name of Ronald Young, and if she knew Pam Phillips was sending money to Ron Young as payment for StarBabies?

Klindworth replied, "No I did not."

Ronald Young was convicted of Gary Triano's murder in 2010. He's serving two life sentences.
Triano Klindworth will be cross examined next week.

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