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MacNeill trial background: Doctor accused of murdering wife after facelift - CourtJunkie

MacNeill trial background: Doctor accused of murdering wife after facelift

October 15, 2013

Martin and Michele MacNeill

The highly-anticipated trial of a doctor who is accused of killing his wife begins today. It might sound like the same old husband kills wife scenario that you often hear about, but this case has a lot more scandal in it than most. Not only that, but Dr. Martin MacNeill is quite possibly one of the biggest sociopaths I’ve ever read about.

Everything I’ve read has said that the MacNeills seemed to have a picture perfect marriage. Dr. MacNeill was not only an accomplished doctor, but he was a lawyer as well. His wife, Michele MacNeill, was a former beauty queen. They settled in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and raised eight children together, four of whom were adopted.

They were married for 30 years, before Michele tragically passed away.

On April 11, 2007, Dr. MacNeill called 911 and told them that Michele had fallen in the bathtub and was submerged underwater, unconscious. Although he sounds pretty hysterical (and oddly angry), he bizarrely gives the dispatcher an incorrect address and hangs up on her twice. You can listen to parts of the actual 911 call below.

According to reports, when medical personnel arrived on the scene, Dr. MacNeill appeared to be hysterical and angry, cursing his wife for having recently undergone a facelift. He told paramedics that he believed she had over-medicated herself after her surgery and drowned in the bathtub.

Michele died a short time later.

Initially, her death was ruled an accident by natural causes due to cardiovascular disease. Three years later, however, after pressure from the MacNeill children, new analysis of the toxicology report determined that there was a lethal combination of prescription drugs in her system. Diazepam, Oxycodone, Promethazine and Zolpidem were all found.

On October 6, 2010, Michele’s cause of death was changed to “combined effects of heart disease and drug toxicity” and the manner of death was no longer “natural,” but “undetermined.”

The number one suspect in her death? Dr. Martin MacNeill.

The Case Against Dr. Martin MacNeill

Prosecutors allege that on April 3, 2007, Dr. MacNeill took Michele to get a facelift operation. Michele reportedly told friends that she didn’t want to get it done, but eventually relented under his pressure. Dr. MacNeill accompanied Michele to all of her pre-surgery doctor’s appointments, and even told the plastic surgeon that he wanted Michele on specific medications: Lortab (Hydrocodone) in liquid form, Zolpidem, Valium (Diazepam), Phenergan (Promethazine) and Percocet (Oxycodone).

On April 4, 2007, the day after the facelift surgery, Michele was released from the hospital and went home. When her daughter went to check up on her, Michele was unresponsive, and Dr. MacNeill told her that he may have accidentally over-medicated her.

On April 5, 2007, Michele allegedly told her daughter that she thought her husband was trying to over-medicate her. She told her that “if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn’t your dad.” Although the jury won’t get to hear that part in the trial, they will get to hear about 24 different text messages that Dr. MacNeill was exchanging with his alleged mistress, Gypsy Willis, during this time.

Yes, it probably comes as no surprise that prosecutors believe Dr. MacNeill was having an affair.

On April 6, 2007, Michele reportedly confronted her husband about phone records she and her daughter had found, which showed one phone number repeatedly called day after day and night after night. That number allegedly belonged to Gypsy.

Other evidence that is expected to be brought in at the trial:

  • Dr. MacNeill’s coworkers say that he was not at work from approximately 9:30 AM to 11 AM, on the day Michele died. At 11 AM, Dr. MacNeill arrived at a work function, and according to legal documents, witnesses say he was intent on getting his photograph taken there and appeared to be “short tempered” and “belligerent.”
  • The girlfriend of the MacNeills’ son told police that Dr. MacNeill told her to throw away all of Michele’s medications when they returned home from the hospital the day Michele died.
  • The journal that the MacNeills’ daughter had used to keep a running tally of her mother’s medications after surgery mysteriously disappeared.

After Michele’s death, Dr. MacNeill’s behavior is nothing short of bizarre. Here is an interview with two of the MacNeills’ daughters, where they recount how shortly after their mom died, their dad moved another woman named Gypsy into their house. Gypsy was supposedly a nanny, but she never cooked, cleaned, or actually took care of the children.

Gypsy is expected to testify in Dr. MacNeill’s trial. I’m guessing it will be some pretty explosive testimony, considering that Gypsy apparently made comments to friends that she wanted Michele “out of the way.” Below is a video from Dr. Drew where they discuss more of Gypsy’s shocking behavior.

Dr. MacNeill’s Defense

The defense denies that Michele’s death was a murder. They claim that the original autopsy report was correct and that she died of natural causes.

Dr. MacNeill also claims that he has an alibi, saying that he was at work the morning of his wife’s death, and wasn’t even around when she passed away.

Another thing the defense might have on their side, are the inconsistent medical reports. Not one expert will conclusively say that Michele was murdered. The forensic pathologists the defense will call to the stand will only say that the manner of death is “undetermined.”

Jury selection is expected to begin today. The trial is expected to last about five weeks.

There’s a lot more info about this case than what I’ve posted here, but HLN has a pretty extensive compilation of articles and videos that you can check out HERE. I’m pretty sure HLN is going to be covering this case in the same manner as they did for Jodi Arias. In other words, it’s going to most likely be on your TV screen 24/7.

You can watch the trial HERE.

Read More:

Jury selection to begin in Martin MacNeill trial
HLN’s Full Background of the Case

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