(PROVO, Utah) — Jury instructions and closing arguments are set to begin Friday in the case of Dr. Martin MacNeill, who is accused of drugging and drowning his wife in a bath tub at the family’s home in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Family fireworks were on full display during the month-long trial, which included testimony from four of MacNeill’s daughters, as well as his purported mistress, who said she moved into the family’s home days after the doctor’s wife died.
Prosecutors allege that MacNeill, 57, persuaded his wife, Michele MacNeill, 50, to have plastic surgery so he could dope her up during her recovery and then drown her — all so he could start a new life with Gypsy Willis, a woman he met online.
MacNeill is charged with first-degree murder and obstruction of justice for his wife’s death on April 11, 2007, however the medical examiner has never been able to determine a cause of death.
The doctor’s defense attorneys said his wife died from heart problems and that the only thing MacNeill may be guilty of is being a “total jerk.”
His defense attorney, Susanne Gustin, acknowledged at the start of the trial that MacNeill “has made poor choices in his life. We’ve heard he had affairs during his marriage.”
“We may think he is a total jerk, that is absolutely disgusting and that’s natural. But it’s very critical that during this trial you set aside your emotion,” Gustin admonished the jury when the trial in Provo, Utah, began a month ago.
During the trial, one of MacNeill’s eldest daughters, Alexis Somers, told the jury that she believes her father was guilty.
“Ever since the day my mom died, I was concerned that my father killed her,” Somers said. “I’ve been fighting to get justice for this case ever since then.”
If convicted, MacNeill could face up to life in prison.
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