Attorneys: prosecutors concealed evidence in Martin MacNeill’s murder case
Attorneys for the Pleasant Grove doctor accused of murdering his wife filed a motion Monday to dismiss the charges against their client, alleging that the county withheld a significant amount of information. Prosecuting attorneys said they were not aware of the motion until it was filed in court Monday morning, calling the defense team’s tactics “disingenuous.”
Attorneys Randall Spencer and Susanne Gustin included in their 47-page motion allegations that law enforcement concealed other potential suspects and spoliated evidence.
“One of the main reasons for this motion is that the defense team has obtained ‘explosive’ information from a ‘thumb drive’ containing nearly one thousand pages of documents that were not provided to counsel after repeated requests for information from the Utah County Attorney’s Office.”
The motion specifically indicated that the county attorney’s office believed MacNeill’s son, Damian MacNeill, was both dangerous and homicidal and present in Pleasant Grove in 2007 when his mother died.
County attorney Chad Grunander said his office has fully complied with discovery requests from the defense and asked their witnesses to do the same.
“There are very serious allegations against our office that we acted in bad faith,” Grunander said in the hearing on Monday. “On October 22 we hand delivered a letter to the defense inviting them to come to our office and review any and all evidence.”
4th District Judge Samuel McVey postponed any hearing on the motion until the prosecution has had time to review it and provide a response.
The motion includes allegations that prosecutors concealed more than 700 pages of documents from the Utah State Developmental Center that indicate MacNeill had a nervous system order called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease that may have prevented MacNeill from being able to lift his wife out of the bathtub.
It also alleges that prosecutors used Alexis MacNeill, one of Martin’s MacNeill’s daughters, to interview another daughter, Ada MacNeill, who was 6-years-old when she found her mother’s body. “As such investigators turned Alexis, the most important witness in the case, into a detective. This is nothing short of astounding. Not only is Ada the second-most important witness in the case against her father, she is a child witness,” defense counsel wrote in their motion. They also accused prosecutors of destroying evidence of communication between prosecutors and Alexis MacNeill.
Alexis MacNeill, now Alexis Somers, said at the hearing “[t]hat is their job, to skew the truth.” “We know what happened and we have faith in the prosecution and hope for justice for our mother.”
At the hearing Judge McVey also denied a defense motion for a bill of particulars from the prosecution which asked them to provide details about what they believe happened. McVey said that the defense had enough information about the prosecution’s theory on the case.
The next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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