Prosecutors painted Martin MacNeill, the former Mormon Sunday school teacher, as a liar who was hell-bent on making his wife have a facelift so he could poison her with a lethal cocktail of drugs during her recovery. The jury is also expected to hear from MacNeill’s alleged mistress, who moved into the family’s home as a nanny weeks after Michele MacNeill’s death.
A jury of eight people in Provo, Utah, decided the doctor’s fate in the trial that lasted 22 days and pit MacNeill against his daughters, who were the star witnesses for the prosecution.
One of them was Ada MacNeill, now 12 years old. Two of MacNeill’s other daughters, Alexis Somers and Rachel MacNeill, are also expected to take the stand. Both had consistently been a presence in the courtroom during pre-trial hearings, often clutching pictures of their mother as they glared at their father.
Defense counsel consistently pointed out the inconsistencies in the accounts given by Alexis Somers over the years, noting “the evolution of (her) stories”.
The jury also heard heard from MacNeill’s alleged mistress, who moved into the family’s home as a nanny weeks after Michele MacNeill’s death.
The motive, prosecutors said, was a woman named Gypsy Willis, who MacNeill had met online more than a year and a half before he allegedly killed his wife, Michele MacNeill, in April 2007.
Days after MacNeill’s facelift surgery, she was found by her 6-year-old daughter slumped over in a bathtub. Less than two hours later, the mother of eight and former beauty queen was pronounced dead.
Martin MacNeill also served three years in a Texas federal prison for fraud and was released in July 2012.
Martin MacNeill was found guilty on an early Saturday morning, November9th, 2013, around 2:00 am EST, after roughly 9 hours of deliberations by a Provo, Utah jury. Defense attorney Randall (“Randy”) Spencer argued that there were no hard facts, and that three previous medical examiners — including the original M.E. Dr. Maureen Frikke, who is now deceased, could not determine that homicide was the cause of death. Additionally, Spencer noted that the entire case was circumstantial, and to believe in MacNeill’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you’d have to believe to totality of the circumstantial testimony. But Spencer pointed out that stories of the MacNeill daughters consistently “evolved” over the course of the last 6 years, and could not be trusted.
Grunander argued that the testimony of the MacNeill daughters in conjunction with the testimony of three jailed inmates where MacNeill allegedly tacitly confessed to the killing was too much circumstantial evidence to ignore. Additionally, Grunander argued that the types of drugs and amounts of drugs were administered by MacNeill in a manner he knew would render her unconscious, a least.
The Sentencing for #MartinMacNeill set for January 7th, 2014 at 1:00; sentence carries 15 to life. Shockingly, the judge decided to CONTINUE his bail for $1,000,000 cash, so oddly, MacNeill could still bail out if he has the money — which is rare after a conviction of anything, especially murder.
Below are pictures from the trial.
Dateline video of the Martin MacNeill story:
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