Dr. Martin MacNeill

Mistress testifies against Pleasant Grove doctor accused of murdering wife

Gypsy Willis, the woman accused of having an affair with a Pleasant Grove doctor that prompted him to kill his wife, testified against him in day five of his preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Willis testified that she had an almost two year affair with Dr. Martin MacNeill before his wife Michele’s death, beginning in 2005, and “[she] thought he was wonderful.” Willis was hired as the nanny shortly after Michele’s death, although MacNeill’s daughter Rachel testified that Willis didn’t do any of the work expected of a nanny and just sat and stared at her dad.

According to prosecutors, Willis testified against MacNeill as part of a plea agreement for State and Federal charges against her.

“As part of that plea deal, she agreed to testify in future hearings against Martin MacNeill,” said deputy Utah County Attorney Chad Grunander.

Dr. Martin MacNeill, 56, is charged with murder and obstructing justice in the April 2007 death of his wife Michele, 50, who was found in the bathtub in the home she shared with her husband.

During the course of the preliminary hearing several of MacNeill’s daughters testified that they believe their father killed their mother in order to continue an affair with Willis.

Several forensic experts and doctors also testified regarding the cause of death. Dr. Joshua Perper, retired Chief Medical Examiner of Broward County with 45 years of experience, testified Wednesday that Michele MacNeill died from drowning. However, Utah State medical examiner Dr. Todd Grey and his former employee Dr. Maureen Frikke testified earlier in the preliminary hearing that they believe the cause of death to be a combination of heart disease and drug toxicity. Dr. Frikke performed the initial autopsy on MacNeill.

MacNeill’s autopsy revealed the presence of four potent prescription medications in her system – Ambien, Valium, Oxycodone, and Phenergan. All of the doctors to testify at the preliminary hearing agreed that these drugs would have had a significant sedative effect, but also that none of the levels of each drug found in her system would likely have caused her death.

Thursday is expected to be last day of the preliminary trial. Judge Samuel McVey will then determine if there is enough evidence to order MacNeill to stand trial.

Willis was convicted last year of identity fraud after she and MacNeill tried to steal the identity of his adopted 16-year-old daughter.

Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial

Copyright 2012 Wild About Trial. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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