The Martin MacNeill verdict has been reached, and jurors found the Utah doctor guilty of drugging and drowning his wife in their family’s home in 2007.
MacNeill had said the death of his wife Michele MacNeill was an accident that happened after she had plastic surgery and overdosed on drugs.
Her cause of death was initially reported as natural causes, with cardiovascular disease noted on the autopsy report. At the time police did not suspect Dr. Martin MacNeill had anything to do with the killing, but Michele’s children thought the death was suspicious and pushed for a new toxicology report.
Investigators found a combination of drugs in her system including Diazepam, Oxycodone, Promethazine, and Zolpidem. Her cause of death was changed to “combined effects of heart disease and drug toxicity,” and police began to focus on her husband as the main suspect.
At the trial, prosecutors said Martin purposely drugged his wife and then drowned her in a bathtub.
“Martin MacNeill murdered his wife, Michele. Her death was not the result of an accident, and it certainly was not the result of a heart condition,” said prosecutor Chad Grunander. “The defendant carried out a cold and calculated plan to murder his wife. He relied on his knowledge and experience as a doctor and also as a lawyer to accomplish this.”
The trial also brought forth Gypsy Willis, Martin MacNeill’s former mistress, who admitted to having an affair with Martin both before and after Michele’s death. Within two weeks of Michele’s death, Martin hired Willis as the family’s nanny to care for his four youngest children.
Alexis Somers, one of Michele’s daughters, said she was happy with the Martin MacNeill verdict.
“There was justice for my mom today,” she said. “We are just so happy he cannot hurt anyone else.”
After the Martin MacNeill verdict, the Utah doctor could face 15 years to life in prison for murder and another 15 years for obstruction of justice.