Crime Trackers

Feb 20, 2014 8:57 PM by Lupita Murillo

Testimony begins in Pamela Phillips trial

TUCSON - Witnesses started taking the stand Thursday in the Pamela Phillips trial.

Nearly 18 years ago, prosecutors say she conspired to kill her ex-husband, Gary Triano. They say, she was a gold-digger who wanted to cash-in on the businessman's $2,000,000 life insurance policy.

He died, in a 1996 car explosion at La Paloma Country Club. Ronald Young has already been convicted of being the hit man. He got two life terms back in 2010.

The trial is already running behind schedule. The state intends to call 33 witnesses, the defense 103.

Pamela Phillips listened to testimony from law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. Among them Mike Blair, who is now retired from the Pima County Sheriff's department. He was the first bomb tech to arrive.

Blair told the jury there was still smoke coming from the car, and he saw a deceased male inside. Defense attorney Alicia Cata asked him if he had taken Sheriff Dupnik to the car. Blair replied he did and he had identified the deceased male as Gary Triano. He was asked if Sheriff Dupnik had touched anything inside, Blair replied, no, and that the entire identification process took about a minute, and then they went back to the Command Post.

In order to catch up, the jury will start hearing testimony Friday morning at 9:30. The trial is expected to last eight weeks.

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