Utah Doctor Found Guilty by Jury

A jury has convicted a doctor early Saturday of murder in the death six years ago of his wife. This brought to the end a trial that was followed closely due to the obsession in the U.S. for true-crime television with its tales of philandering, plastic surgery, family feuding, betrayal and snitches at the local jailhouse.

Martin MacNeill had been accused of knocking out his wife Michele MacNeill with certain drugs following her cosmetic surgery. He then was accused of leaving her to die in the tub.

Prosecutors said that he might have kept her underwater just to make sure she would die so he could start a new life with someone else.

The prosecutor said it was close to being the perfect murder. The prosecutor said MacNeill pumped the victim full of different drugs, that he knew would be difficult for authorities to detect once the woman was dead.

One of MacNeil’s early mistresses testified that he once said to her that he could induce someone to have a heart attack that would appear to be natural.

After several hours of deliberating, the jury issued its verdict of guilty to obstruction of justice and murder just after 1 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The Mormon community 35 miles to the south of Salt Lake City in Pleasant Grove was shocked by the case that captured the attention of the nation due to the defendant being a wealthy lawyer and doctor and a father to eight in what looked like a picture perfect Mormon family.

Lawyers for the defense contended that Michele MacNeill had died due to natural causes. They believe a heart attack struck the woman and she fell into a tub headfirst and noted the medical examiner on the autopsy showed the woman had a heart that was enlarged, heart arteries that were narrowing and kidney and liver deterioration.

They contested there was no proof that a homicide was committed. The defense said testimony of prisoners against the doctor was in hope of getting earlier releases. The men who were behind bars with the defendant, testified he said he killed his wife or suggested that the investigators would never be able to prove he had done it.

MacNeill’s lawyer said the doctor would never admit to strangers while in prison that he had committed murder.