Aspen woman sought in death of ex-husband |

Aspen woman sought in death of ex-husband

TUCSON, Ariz. ” Authorities have arrested a man in California and are looking for a Colorado woman in the killing of a man who died when a pipe bomb exploded in his car north of Tucson in 1996.

Ronald Young, 66, was arrested Friday without incident in Yorba Linda, Calif., after he was indicted by a Pima County grand jury in the murder of Gary Triano, 52.

Detectives are now looking for Triano’s former wife, Pamela Phillips, 51, of Aspen, Colo. Like Young, she will face murder charges, said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik during a news conference.

Dupnik said detectives believe Phillips paid Young $400,000 to kill Triano, a Tucson businessman, to get a $2 million life insurance policy.

Dupnik said authorities believe Phillips flew to London and caught a flight to Milan, Italy on Sept. 26. They had asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement to notify them if she left the country, but the agency did not.

Phillips’ attorney, Walter Nash of Tucson, said he and another defense attorney have been working with law enforcement and the County Attorney’s Office for more than a year and had offered to bring Phillips into the case whenever necessary. He said he expects the details to be worked out and Phillips to return within two weeks.

Phillips will plead not guilty and mount a vigorous defense, he said.

Triano was a real estate broker and developer who made millions investing in Indian bingo halls and slot-machine parlors here and in California before Congress authorized tribes to open full-blown casinos. He hosted Donald Trump to a University of Arizona football game, rode in luxury cars, gave money to charity and briefly ran for the City Council. Once he sued Pan American World Airways because his $4,410 airline seat didn’t satisfy him as he jetted overseas.

After the real estate market declined and the Tohono O’odham Nation kicked him and other managers and investors out of their gaming hall, Triano went broke. In 1994 bankruptcy filings, he listed assets of $1.3 million and debts of nearly $26.8 million.

Triano died Nov. 1, 1996, when his borrowed Lincoln Town Car exploded as he was leaving La Paloma Country Club.

Someone within “line of sight” of Triano remotely detonated a pipe bomb that was 17 inches long, 3 inches in diameter and filled with one pound of gunpowder, Dupnik said.

Triano and Phillips, who had two children together, were married for seven years and divorced in 1993.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star,

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