Dr. Martin MacNeill

Jury begins deliberations in Utah doctor’s trial

macneill5-smallPROVO, Utah (AP) — Jurors have begun deliberating whether a Utah doctor is guilty of murder in the death of his wife after a three-week trial that featured testimony from mistresses, prison snitches and daughters of the disgraced physician.

The case was handed over to the panel of five men and three women Friday afternoon after attorneys laid out their cases for the final time during closing arguments.

Prosecutors argued that that there’s a mountain of circumstantial evidence showing Martin MacNeill, 57, pestered his wife to get a face lift, then drugged and drowned her in a bathtub six years ago to start a new life with a mistress.

A lawyer for MacNeill countered that the prosecution has cherry-picked evidence in a case full of reasonable doubt. His wife, Michele MacNeill, died in 2007 as a result of her many medical complications, not because she was killed, said attorney Randy Spencer.

“The evidence doesn’t add up the way the prosecution wants it to add up,” Spencer said.

Earlier, Deputy Utah County Attorney Chad Grunander said Martin MacNeill’s erratic behavior the day of his wife’s death and shortly afterward was “dripping with motive.”

He reminded jurors about testimony that MacNeill stood in the bathroom yelling, “Why did you do this? All because of a stupid surgery,” as paramedics tried to revive his wife.

“He’s putting on an act in front of people to deflect suspicion away from him,” Grunander said.

The cause of death was never established, and MacNeill wasn’t charged with murder until August 2012, nearly five years after his wife was found in bathtub of the couple’s Pleasant Grove home.

The case shocked the Mormon community of Pleasant Grove, 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, and captured national attention because the defendant was a doctor, father of eight and former bishop in his local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Spencer acknowledged Friday that MacNeill had multiple mistresses and sometimes acted oddly, but said the prosecution’s theory that MacNeill drugged and drowned his wife just doesn’t add up.

“There’s simply no proof,” Spencer said. “The prosecution has presented to you their cherry-picked portion of the evidence.”

Spencer highlighted Michele MacNeill’s many medical problems from an autopsy: She had an enlarged heart, a narrowing of the heart arteries, fatty liver disease and kidney deterioration. All of it increased her odds of having a heart attack, he said.

Grunander emphasized how quickly MacNeill moved on to a life with his mistress, Gypsy Willis, hiring her as a nanny and proposing marriage within weeks of his wife’s death. MacNeill was swapping out his wife for his mistress, the prosecutor said.

“Martin MacNeill murdered his wife, Michele. Her death was not the result of an accident, and certainly not the result of a heart condition,” the prosecutor said. “Make no mistake, the defendant’s fingerprints, if you will, are all over Michele’s death.”

It was “almost perfect murder,” Grunander said, except for the way MacNeill “left a number of clues that point to him as the murderer.”


Source: AP

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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So true about how gypsy is protective of martin all the way til the end- she – and the utah 3 did a great job elucidating this- is without any emotion when discussing michelle’s death. She is utouched- and she knew- she knew what the plan was. Martin thought he could trick his girls- bless alexifor being her mom’s eyes and ears. It’s too bad, martin could have won this- if not for an attorney who is not only inept, but completely on another planet.


This has always been a winnable case for the defense. Spencer is a mess- he continues to employ an arrogant posture- coming across like a prick yielding no points – anywhere. With Mani Dexter at #1, OMara at #2, this trio from utah deserves the #3. Watching Spencer now- as he laughs – with who?!?! Does he think the jury finds the state’s case as funny as he does? This is what happens when you hire a funny looking ego-maniac as your attorney. Wow- it’s bad because all the gi will lose their father’s earnings power for support whem he gets convicted ( yes, it is a certainty now, watching spencer act like a 7th grader during his close, when he should be solemn and serious).

I think the judge did a great job, too, incredible how that media report almost blew it all up. Wow

Vicki says:

I agree with you 110% Pat, you should put that on HLN’s facebook page. I would go insane without W.A.T. !

j says:

Oops- that’s “You’re” not “Your”.

Joanne says:

We absolutely need court tv back or a similar channel. It is so annoying watching it on HLN. WHY would you take CRT. TV off for all the stupid crap that replaced it.

j says:

Your confusing Wild About Trial with HLN – you need to complaint to HLN about their practice.

PAT says:

during closing argument’s you pause about every two min. very annoyed not interested in what your person has to say . I want to watch the trail. the closing is very important and you pause , pause, pause or your person talks, talks, and tells us what we already heard . Go back to court TV bring back Ashley Banfield and Jack Ford . when you pause all the time , I’m too annoyed to watch anymore. I’m done

Charles says:

I totally agree. I just want to watch the trial without all the commentaries.


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