Jurors heard the voice of accused murderer Pamela Phillips for the first time Thursday in a series of phone conversations the Aspen socialite had with her onetime boyfriend, convicted hit man Ron Young.
Phillips is accused in her former husband's 1996 car-bomb death.
Young recorded the conversations after their relationship soured. The exchanges between Phillips and Young start out sweet but grow increasingly desperate.
“You know, I’m just aggravated … just leave me alone. Just leave me alone,” Phillips says in one recording played in court Thursday.
“I’m bothering you?” Young responds.
“Right now you are," Phillips says. "I’ve got to go. I got kids down at the pool. I have to be back for company at 4.”
“Well, you bothered me for some help, so you could get rich,” Young tells her.
“Leave me alone. Goodbye,” she says.
On another recording, Phillips and Young bicker.
“When you sit in a woman’s prison for murder … you are going to be really sad,” Young says.
“I’m going to be back at 4,” Phillips responds.
“No, you are going to be in prison for murder.”
Prosecutors say Phillips, 56, agreed to pay Young $400,000 to kill her former husband, Gary Triano. Young kept his part of the bargain: He’s serving life in prison for planting a pipe bomb in the real estate developer’s car at a Tucson, Ariz., country club in 1996. But the jurors are not allowed to consider his case in this trial, which began Feb. 19.
Even though Phillips received Triano’s $2 million life insurance policy, with a new home in Aspen and vacations in the south of France, those millions didn’t last. The monthly payments to the hit man dried up.
Phillips never admits to committing a crime on the tapes, and she has pleaded not guilty to the charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
The key for the prosecution is linking Phillips to Young, ABC News chief legal affairs Anchor Dan Abrams says.
“It’s a very powerful case,” Abrams said. “You’ve got witnesses in this case who say she’d talked about killing [Triano]. The most important aspect is that she was paying his insurance policy. And now they are looping it back to the connection with Young.”
The tapes end the state’s case, and the defense should begin later today. The defense list includes more than 100 possible witnesses, including Ed Kinnear, father of Oscar-nominated actor Greg Kinnear.