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Martin MacNeill, the Utah doctor who was convicted of drugging and drowning his wife in November, is now seeking a mistrial based on a fellow inmate’s testimony at his trial. You can read my prior posts about MacNeill’s trial HERE.
Attorneys for MacNeill say prosecutors failed to give them all the emails, phone conversations and evidence regarding Inmate #1, which allegedly outlines a deal that was made in exchange for his testimony, something prosecutors denied at trial.
Inmate #1 testified that MacNeill confided in him while they were in prison together, and that MacNeill told him that he drugged his wife Michele with oxy and sleeping pills, got her in the bath tub, and held her head under water.
MacNeill’s attorneys say that he didn’t receive a fair trial. From KUTV:
“When we have been told by the Utah County Attorney’s office that there is no deal and we have it in writing from them and then we discover evidence of a deal, That is a big, big deal,” said Gustin (MacNeill’s attorney). “Inmate number one was the only person who could provide direct evidence of any crime being committed.”
Gustin says that almost immediately after the trial ended, Inmate #1 was freed from jail. She said he wasn’t supposed to be released until 2016.
Prosecutors are denying any wrongdoing, and denying that any deal had been made with Inmate #1. Utah County prosecutor Chad Grunander told reporters that they have no control over what the federal government does, as far as releasing inmates.
MacNeill’s sentencing was originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 7, but will likely be delayed due to the mistrial request. His attorneys are asking for a new trial.
UPDATE: 2/20/14 9:43 AM
MacNeill’s sentencing for Michele’s murder has been delayed yet again, due to mental competency evaluations granted by the judge in his upcoming sexual abuse trial.
MacNeill’s attorney had filed a motion to the court last month to have the sex abuse trial delayed because he didn’t think his client was mentally fit to stand trial. The judge granted the request, so everything involving MacNeill in the court system is now on hold until the evaluations are complete.
In the sexual abuse case, MacNeill is charged with one count of forcible sexual abuse, stemming from allegations that in 2007, he put his hands down an adult female relative’s pants.
MacNeill will return to court on April 3 to discuss the sentencing hearing for his murder conviction. No date for the actual sentencing has been set yet.