Pamela Phillips trial continues, expert witnesses present pipe bomb replica
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Day three of the Pamela Phillips trial continued, Friday. The Aspen socialite is charged with first-degree murder and accused of hiring a hit man to kill her ex-husband, Tucson businessman Gary Triano, back in 1996. Triano died in a fiery car bomb explosion after playing a round of golf at La Paloma Country Club.
Testimony focused on explosive evidence including remnants of a canvas bag, batteries, wood fragments and wood screws recovered from the scene. Expert witnesses from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were called to the stand.
Friday, defense argued that there was a significant gap in ATF report. The report was not written until 2003, seven years after the explosion. Officials with ATF say they were severely understaffed at the time.
According to ATF's Bradley Cooper, at the time of the bombing, Cooper was assigned to other high-profile cases including the 1999 Columbine shooting. Cooper admits that the case was, "put on [the] back burner." However, Cooper told prosecutors the seven-year delay in writing the report did not hinder analysis.
Defense also brought up a lack of DNA analysis. According to Cooper, "DNA analysis wasn't even dreamed of at that time when it came to pipe bombs."
For the first time during the trial, ATF agents presented the reconstructed replica of the pipe bomb, they say, was used to kill Triano.
"The bomber would have been in line of sight extending the antenna if he wanted to get further away not necessarily having to enter it all the way, obviously that draws a lot of attention," ATF explosive enforcement officer Anthony Mays said referring to the remote-controlled replica he reconstructed.
The explosive enforcement officer also testified that he had never seen a "futaba system" remote controlled explosive device prior to this investigation.
Also shown in court, the actual life insurance policy documents Phillips took out on Triano's behalf.
Julie long, a customer service supervisor for American-amicable Life insurance was called to the stand. She reviewed the initial life insurance claim for Triano.
According to the documents, the $2 million policy started on November 5, 1992 -- almost exactly four years before Triano's death on November , 1996.
Throughout the day-long testimony, Philips remained quiet often smiling and looking directly into the camera.
The trial resumes Monday.