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Forensic Accountant: Phillips and convicted hit-man had 'financial agreement'

Gary Triano's daughter, Heather, took the stand for the second time since the start of the trial as part of the defense's cross-examination. Judge Richard Fields ordered her face not be show.

Forensic Accountant: Phillips and convicted hit-man had 'financial agreement'

By Cory Marshall. CREATED Mar 5, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV)  -The Pamela Phillips trial hit a turning point as prosecutors marked the eve of calling their final witness.

Wednesday, during day nine of the murder-for-hire-trial, a Certified Public Accountant and forensic accountant took the stand. Hired by the state, Robert Semple told a crowded courtroom he has clear-cut evidence linking Phillips to convicted hit-man Ronald Young.

Semple was asked to review hundreds of bank records, emails and voicemails to determine if there was a financial relationship between Phillips and Young. During the hours-long questioning and subsequent cross-examination by the defense, Semple said he uncovered "cryptic" communication between the two.

"There was an email at one time, early on by Ronald Young that outlined how he was going to cryptically provide information to Pam Phillips and how she would respond and that was that, if he wanted $2000, he would say, 'send me two of my things or two of my items,'" Semple testified.

"We came to the conclusion that there was a financial arrangement between Pamela Phillips and Ronald Young for the payment of $400,000 that those payments commenced sometime in early 1997 and ended, in what we could tell, late 2004 [to] early 2005," Semple continued.

Prosecutors claim Phillips paid Young $400,000 to kill her ex-husband, Gary Triano, back in 1996.

The forensic accountant and his team went on to say they found a "standard loan amortization"schedule document, which details loan amount and payments. Semple says the document is something Young created himself.

Semple compared and tracked Phillips' transfer and Young's consequent withdrawal, matching said records to Young's loan amortization schedule.

Triano's oldest daughter, Heather, also took the stand for  the second time since the start of the trial as part of a cross-examination.

Last week, a very emotional Heather testified, recalling the day her father died. Wednesday, her testimony took on a much lighter tone as she delved into her friendship with Phillips. The eldest daughter referred to the two as once very close. Judge Richard Fields ordered her face not be shown on camera.

"I was living with her. She was my friend. I didn't find out anything until after Ronald Young was caught and all that," Heather told the defense during cross-examination.

The trial resumes Thursday when the defense is expected to call on their first witness.The defense is expected to have over 100 witnesses.