Doctor accused of murdering wife will also face sex abuse charge in unrelated case
The Utah Court of Appeals ruled that Dr. Martin MacNeill, who is accused of murdering his wife Michele in 2007, can also be tried in an unrelated case on charges of sexual abuse and witness tampering. These charges stem from a 2007 accusation by an adult female relative that MacNeill touched her inappropriately and then tried to have her sign an affidavit saying he never touched her.
Prosecutors originally dismissed the sex abuse and witness tampering charges in 2008, stating that they may not have enough evidence to succeed at trial.
MacNeill’s Lawyer, Randy Spencer, said that the Prosecution could not proceed after discovering “numerous inconsistencies on the part of the alleged victim.”
However, in 2009, prosecutors re-filed the charges. MacNeill contested the People’s ability to try him again, arguing double jeopardy, right to a speedy trial and due process. The case ultimately went to the Utah Court of Appeals where on Thursday September 20, 2012, the appellate court held that the original charges were not dismissed with prejudice and therefore may be re-filed.
The judge sent the sex abuse case back to Provo’s 4th District Court for trial.
MacNeill was charged August 28, 2012, with first degree felony murder and obstructing justice in the April 11, 2007, death of his wife, Michele. According to the charges, his daughter found her body in a bathtub ¼ full of water and then MacNeill lied to the police about performing resuscitation and other events surrounding her death. Prosecutors accuse him of killing her with a lethal combination of drugs.
MacNeill will be tried in both cases.
He was reportedly having an affair at the time of his wife’s death and killed her in order to continue the affair.
He just finished a three year prison sentence in July after pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting after he stole his daughter’s identity while she was in the Ukraine.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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