The Main Stream

Jul 14, 2010 7:35 PM

Pam Phillips arraigned in video court

TUCSON - The ex-wife of murdered Tucson businessman, Gary Triano, was in court today facing charges in his death.

Pamela Phillips is charged with conspiracy and first degree murder charges for the killing of Gary Triano who died in a car bomb explosion in November 1996 at La Paloma Country Club.

Pima County Sheriff's detectives believe Pam Phillips hired Ronald Young, a former boyfriend, to kill Triano in order to claim a $2 million life insurance payoff. Young was convicted in March and sentenced to life behind bars.

At the time the charges against Young and Phillips were filed, she was in Switzerland visiting her daughter. Officials say she had the opportunity to turn herself in, but she didn't. This past December, officials in Vienna, Austria detained her.

She was finally extradited to Tucson July 2nd. In court today, she wore black and white stripes, which indicates she's a flight risk inmate.

According to Pima County Jail officials, due to the nature of the charges, the high bond, and her flight history, that's the color inmates wear.

Her court appointed attorney, Peter Herberg, complained to the judge about her classification.

"She's been classified in a manner that has her shackled simply to have her appear that way in front of the TV cameras. I've tried to address that with the jail but apparently they're not listening to my suggestions," he says.

The jail says this is their policy for all inmates. Officials tell News 4, every week they review inmates classification. If Phillips doesn't create problems and obeys orders, the black and white uniform comes off and she will wear the traditional orange suits.

The prosecutor, Bill McCollum says, "Miss Phillips will get a fair trial. She'll have her opportunity to be heard and evidence will be presented. "

Pamela Phillips next court appearance is set for September 1, in front of Judge Christopher Browning.

The courtroom was filled with family and friends of Gary Triano. No one, including Phillips' attorney, wanted to comment.

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