Phillips is accused of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the 1996 death of her ex-husband,
Prosecutors said Phillips paid a man to have Triano killed following their contentious divorce because she wanted to cash in a
"Moments prior to that bombing, the only person who stood to get any benefit from
Green argued that Phillips had grown accustomed to the lavish lifestyle she lived with Triano and wanted to continue that sort of existence, which had suffered after the couple's divorce.
To maintain the life of wealth she wanted, Phillips joined forces with
Phillips and Young had a brief romantic relationship that later developed into a financial arrangement, Green said.
The state argued that Phillips devised a plan to have Triano killed and agreed to pay Young
The relationship soured, however, as police identified Young as a possible suspect in Triano's death when a rental car he had abandoned in
Young disappeared, but he and Phillips maintained regular contact through letters and telephone conversations, which he recorded.
Green said the two spoke in coded language about their arrangement, but Young maintained a ledger showing payment schedules from Phillips.
At some point, Phillips stopped making payments to Young, igniting his anger.
"He tells her that he could dig up evidence against her," Green said, adding that Young told Phillips he would see her sent to "women's prison for murder."
Young was arrested in 2008 and later stood trial and was convicted of Triano's murder in 2010.
"There's one reason
Phillips' defense attorney,
In a 2 1/2 -hour opening statement, Eckerstom argued that Phillips didn't need Triano's money because she already was independently wealthy from a successful career in real estate.
"She wasn't hurting for money as the state is claiming," Eckerstrom said.
Rather, Eckerstrom argued, Young had provided Phillips with business advice and helped create a business plan for a company she started. That, he said, accounted for frequent conversations about money she owed Young.
Eckerstrom also said Phillips wouldn't have been as careless with the insurance policy if she wanted to cash in on Triano's death.
The policy, which Phillips had entrusted to a friend to make the payments, went unpaid the month before Triano's death.
"If your motive is for the
Phillips made the late payment and the next month's payment about the same time of Triano's death, and later collected on the policy.
Phillips' defense also argued Young was a notorious con man who initially waived the fees for the services he provided her, only to demand payment later.
Eckerstrom also asserted there's plenty of evidence that someone else committed the murder.
One business associate in particular,
Eckerstron said McNeice, who died of a drug overdose in 2002, lent
Eckerstrom laid out a scenario whereby McNeice conspired with another man, also deceased, to kill Triano.
Eckerstrom said he plans to bring witnesses to testify to McNeice's involvement. Those witnesses, however, cannot be identified publicly until they testify.
The trial continues today in
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