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MacNeill Trial Day 6: Mistress Gypsy Willis takes the stand - CourtJunkie

MacNeill Trial Day 6: Mistress Gypsy Willis takes the stand

October 25, 2013

Day 6 of the Martin MacNeill trial began with the toxicologist, who analyzed the drugs found in Michele’s system. After testifying for most of the day, he left the stand and the much-anticipated testimony of MacNeill’s mistress, Gypsy Willis, began.

State’s Witness: Dr. Gary Dawson, Toxicologist


Dr. Gary Dawson took the stand first. He is a pharmacologist/toxicologist who specializes in metabolism. Below are highlights from his testimony.

  • Dawson went through the procedure for gathering and examining toxicology evidence.
  • Dawson described for the jury how drugs metabolize in the body before and after death.
  • Dawson says that beating on a dead body will create cell destruction just as it would a live body. Myocarditis is diagnosed by tissue damage.
  • Dawson says that the body builds up a tolerance to narcotics over time. However, it’s not possible for a person to build a high tolerance to drugs in as little as a week.
  • Age and body weight has a bearing on the metabolizing of drugs in the body.
  • Pain management patients need higher doses of narcotics/medications due to tolerance levels.
  • There are certain common threads regarding reading toxicology reports. Dawson says he doesn’t need every detail of the person.
  • Dawson goes over the drugs found in Mchele’s system. The first one is Diazapam which is also known as Valium. Valium is an anti-anxiety medication. The concentration level in Michele’s system was 0.1 mg.
  • Michele’s Nordiazepam levels were 0.5 per liter.
  • Michele also had Percocet aka Oxycodone in her system, which is a depressant. The level in Michele’s blood was .04 mgs per liter.
  • Michele also had Phenegran in her system. Phenegran is an anti-nausea medication and is also a depressant. The level was .1 mg per liter in her bloodstream.
  • Ambien is the next drug Dawson says was in Michele’s system. He describes it as a “sedative, hypnotic.” He says that it’s a sleeping pill.
  • Dawson says that all the drugs found in Michele’s system are “Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants.”
  • Dawson describes the description he received of Michele: A middle-aged female, approximately 170 pounds, with no signs or symptoms of a metabolic medical issue.
  • Michele’s drug levels weren’t high in her bloodstream at the time of death. Dawson says it seems they had metabolized.
  • Dawson says there was nothing to suggest that Michele was taking any long-term depressants.
  • Dawson goes over Michele’s prior prescriptions for controlled substances from 2000-2007. He says he would classify her as a “drug naive” patient.
  • Dawson says he would like to have had a blood sample of Michele’s. The blood examined in the toxicity report was taken from Michele’s heart 24-25 hours after her death.
  • Dawson said the individual dose of each medication in Michele’s system isn’t a lethal amount. However, the drugs combined in Michele’s system would have affected her alertness and central nervous system.

State’s Witness: Gypsy Willis, MacNeill’s Mistress

Gypsy Willis

The State called Gypsy Willis to the stand next. Gypsy’s testimony is the testimony most trial watchers have been waiting for since this trial first started. Below are some highlights from her testimony. She will continue testifying on Tuesday.

  • Gypsy met MacNeill online in November 2005. They soon began having a sexual relationship and saw each other a few times a month.
  • Gypsy said MacNeill put her up in a duplex, gave her a debit card for expenses, and helped pay for her schooling as a nursing student.
  • For the first time, on the day of Michele’s funeral, MacNeill called Gypsy from his cell phone, which is something he’d never done before.
  • Gypsy said she attended Michele’s funeral. Phone records show that MacNeill and Gypsy texted each other during the funeral.
  • There were 30 text messages and 2 phone calls between Gypsy and MacNeill on the day of Michele’s death.
  • When Gypsy attended the funeral, she said she said to MacNeill, “I hope you’re alright. If there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.”
  • Gypsy says her affair with MacNeill was informal and discreet.
  • Macneill told Gypsy that there was a health fair going on the day of Michele’s death and that Ada found her mom in the bathtub.
  • Gypsy recalls going to the temple to meet Rachel. She said MacNeill wanted her to meet his family under the best possible terms. So she went to the temple to introduce herself to Rachel.
  • When Gypsy walked up to them, MacNeill asked her name. She said Jillian. Gypsy says MacNeill did not leave while she was talking to Rachel.
  • Gypsy admits that in prior interviews, she said that MacNeill “staged and directed the meeting.”
  • Gypsy says she doesn’t think MacNeill would have her come help him with the children if they strongly objected to her.

Gypsy’s testimony will continue Tuesday at 8:30 MT. You can watch the trial live HERE.

Background of the case:

Dr. Martin MacNeill is on trial for allegedly drugging and drowning his wife Michele, who was found dead in their bathtub. The first medical examiner ruled that her death was an accident due to heart problems. The second medical examiner changed the manner of death to “undetermined,” which led the way for the murder charges against MacNeill. Within weeks of Michele’s death, MacNeill moved his mistress, Gypsy Willis, into the family home. Gypsy took on the identity of Jillian MacNeill, although she and Martin never officially married. This is mostly a circumstantial case, with no direct evidence proving that Michele died as the result of a murder, or that MacNeill killed her.

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