Phillips found incompetent; murder trial on hold
December 16, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. – An Arizona judge ruled Monday that former Aspen socialite Pamela Phillips, the ex-wife of a Tucson businessman killed by a car bomb in 1996, is mentally incompetent to stand trial in January.
However, doctors believe Pamela Phillips will one day be able to stand trial once she completes a restoration program at the Pima County Jail.
The 54-year-old Phillips is being held on $5 million bond in the November 1996 bombing death of her former husband Gary Triano.
She’s accused of hiring Ronald Young to kill Triano.
Phillips and Young were indicted in October 2008 on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Young was convicted and is serving a life sentence.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that Phillips’ trial, previously expected to begin next month, has been rescheduled for June 12.
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Authorities said she paid Young $400,000 to kill Triano as part of a scheme to collect on a $2 million life-insurance policy. Phillips and Triano, who was a real estate investor and developer, divorced in 1993.
Young originally was connected to the murder after police in California found weapons, a map of Tucson and divorce papers for Triano and Phillips in a car Young rented in Aspen. The car had been abandoned in the Los Angeles area shortly before Triano’s death.
While the evidence was apparently not enough to charge Young, officials continued to investigate. And in September 2006, Pima County sheriff’s deputies, federal agents and Aspen police officers raided Phillips’ Meadowood Drive home, carrying away nine computers, discs and other items. (The house sold in the summer of 2009 at a foreclosure auction.)
Young also has ties to Aspen. He was indicted on charges of embezzling money from Aspen residents in 1996 but left Colorado shortly before the issuing of his warrant.