Martin MacNeill Murder Trial Begins
After a half hour we are up and running. They started with instructions first.
Prosecutors begin with describing how young Ada found her mother unresponsive in the tub.
Next they cover Gypsy Willis, the mistress.
An odd bit of information comes out. MacNeill told members of his church he had terminal cancer, a foot ailment and began using a cane.
Next comes a lengthy description on how MacNeill forced his wife to undergo a facelift and he demanded a range of drugs from the doctor.
This opening is very cut and dried. There is no emotion at all!
They describe how Michele was over medicated.
The 911 tapes are played for the jury. McNeill claims he is doing CPR, however no one who arrived on the scene saw him performing CPR.
MacNeill told everyone he told Michele not to have the surgery and not to take the medications.
MacNeill gave 2 different versions of how Michele’s body was positioned in the tub. Once she was face up then she was face down.
First responders said MacNeill was acting very strangely and were actually concerned for their own safety.
In the afternoon on the day of the death, the medications and the hospital bed had already been removed.
Next the story of hiring a nanny comes in. Two of the daughters offered to care for the young kids, but Macneill got belligerent and insisted he was bringing a nanny in.
MacNeill brought his mistress, Gypsy, in as the nanny.
Later, he told people there is no way police could blame him, he made sure of it by his actions.
Defense attorney Susanne Gustin begins by saying what the prosecutor presented reminds her of an Aesop’s fable.
Yes he had affairs and yes he moved Gypsy into the house. He made poor choices, but you should not let emotions cloud the issues.
Gustin discusses the findings by 3 different ME’s, none called it a homicide. The death can be attributed to heart disease.
She claims that investigators needed to get around the autopsy so the met several times with the ME to get him to change his findings.
She also says investigators improperly told people their perceptions and also conducted interviews with other witnesses present so that taints their testimony.
Now she claims Alexis Somers, the daughter, has changed her story several times.
Gustin is no ball of fire either.
All-in-all, rather dull morning!
15 minute recess called.
State calls Dr. Scott Thompson. He is the plastic surgeon.
He goes through his CV.
He studied pharmacology, so he knows meds.
He had an ad in the paper that MacNeill responded to.
Dang, feed dropped.
Martin did most of the talking and said they wanted to move ahead because he was taking Michele on a cruise.
WTH? MacNeill told this guy he was a shrink!
He performed a pre-surgery evaluation. She did have a bit of high blood pressure.
He normally gives vicodin and loratab, ambian, and an antibiotic and a steroid. He will give phenergan for nausea. MacNeill requested additional drugs. Percocet and valium.
Lot’s of discussion about over medication causing stupor and respiratory distress and central nervous system depression.
Back on direct.
Long discussion on the actual surgery. It went for about 8 hours and everything was normal.
Michele stayed overnight in the hospital and was discharged the next morning.
2 days later Thompson saw Michele again to check her over. Michele was doing well and had no unusual complaints about pain.
Oh my gosh, after the 3rd visit, he refilled the drugs (which he normally doesn’t do) because MacNeill asked him too. She should have begun weaning off the drugs by then.
On the 11th, he received a frantic call from MacNeill saying Michele had been found unresponsive. It surprised Thompson.
Asks about previous interviews he’s had before today and is shown the transcript of the interview with investigators.
When you saw the MacNeills they seemed happy together? Yes.
You didn’t get the impression that MacNeill was pushing the surgery? No.
On April 10th, did Michele have anyone with her? I believe so.
She still had swelling around the eyes and was taking 2 percocets a day and shouldn’t be driving? Correct.
Defense going after the doctor has changed his recollection on who called for the refills on the drugs.
Defense really drilling down on the way the drug scripts were written and the timing of when the could be taken trying to get him to say it’s ok to tall all the drugs together.
The thing is, the drugs didn’t kill her, they subdued her, but the drowning did!
Has anyone told you what to say here today? No. I reviewed my records in the past few days.
What was the ambien for? Sleep.
Any reason to take it in the morning? No.
Thompson finally done.
Jury has some questions!!!
Did it concern you that MacNeill was acting as the PCP for Michel? Yes.
Did you express that concern to MacNeill and Michele? No because he consulted with another doctor.
Thompson released, subject to recall.
State calls Dr. Von Welch. He is an internal medicine doc. He examined Michele for a pre-operative examine.
He cleared Michele for surgery and he worked with MacNeill.
MacNeill was a director at the center and made strides to reduce medications for patients!!!
He says Michele showed signs of high blood pressure and MacNeill said she had blood pressure issues.
MacNeill kept answering for her so he asked him to leave the room so he could speak to her on her own. He prescribed blood pressure med and an anti-depressant.
He recommended to postpone the surgery.
Her EKG was normal.
He was surprised that Michel had passed shortly after the surgery.
Again, defense trying to show discrepancies in the doctor’s previous testimony.
When you asked to speak with Michele alone, did MacNeill have any issue with that? No.
What kind of facility did MacNeill work at? A developmental center.
Welch released but subject to recall.
Court recessed for the day at 3:10 MT and we will be back tomorrow at 8:30!