Martin MacNeill Murder Trial – Day 11

11/05/2013 66 comments

We closed out Friday with Dr. Joshua Perper.  He showed himself to be a gentleman and professional.  He offers no wailing and flailing; cuts trough it all to present just the facts.  We did see Spencer exhibit a bit of a tantrum when he couldn’t get the doctor to say what he wanted or change his opinion. In fact, Spencer was rude, nasty and downright disrespectful!

Today should be interesting as the 4 inmates will be up.

Jury finally comes in at 11:59!

State calls Spencer Cannon.  Utah County Sheriffs Office.

Also ME investigator in Utah County to find cause and manner of death.

He was at the hospital with Dr. van Wagoner.


He’s done this work for 7 years.

Did you send an email?  That wouldn’t be normal?

Spencer shows him an email that he acknowledges he sent to investigator Robinson.

You didn’t find anything overtly suspicious?  No.


The doctor said he was performing CPR 2 times when according to her position he couldn’t have, would that raise suspicion?  Yes.

State calls inmate #3.

Inmate convicted for drug felony.  He met MacNeill in TexArkana federal prison.

They became friendly working out.

MacNeill was nicknamed doc.

They ran 4-5 miles a day and MacNeill had no trouble keeping up.

MacNeill had no physical ailments.

MacNeill told him he and his wife were locked up.  Later he learned it was Gypsy.

He asked doc if he murdered his wife and he said no they don’t have any evidence and couldn’t prove anything.

He was mad after the unit time because he didn’t get a halfway hours because of his f’n daughters and “b” of a wife.


You received a 24 year sentence?  Yes.

Your 14 years in and have a long way to go? Yes sir.

When you asked MacNeill if he murdered his wife he said no?  Yes.

Mr.MacNeill was upset with the Nancy Grace show saying he wasn’t performing mouth-to-mouth?  No.

He was mad they were saying he wasn’t performing CPR?  Yes.


Did you ever talk to doc about how is wife died?  He said she drown.

Have you received anything for your testimony today?  No sir.

Jury question…

You stated in your testimony information you gave in 2002 panned out?  It did prove out.

Inmate 4 up.  Convicted on drug felonies.

He knows MacNiell from talking in prison.

Saw doc run and was doing sprints and was in good health.

He asked about visitations and he said no, his wife was in prison.  I told him I heard she drown and you killed her. He said she was a bitch. If that was true, do you think I’d be sitting here?


Did you meeting investigator Robinson?  I met with someone.

MacNeill never said he killed his wife?  No.


So far, I’ve heard nothing that anybody has been promised by the feds or state for their testimony!

State calls Inmate #2.

You are imprisoned for cocaine and weed?  Yes.

You spoke to MacNeiil ?  Yes we were roomies?  Yes.

Did your and he get along?  Yes.

Did he have a limp?  Sometimes

Did he talk about his love interest?  Yes.

Her name?  Gypsy?

Later I found out he had a wife who had died.  I saw on tv his wife had died.

He said they couldn’t prove it was me.

He said his wife had surgery but he said they couldn’t prove it.

State calls Jeff Robinson.  Utah Chief Investigator.

This is pretty much out of order and not sure what we are doing her because we are asking about teat messages here.  Very confusing here,

Not a good way too end in mho.

I have no idea what we’re doing here.

This guy is out of order while next inmate is getting legal advice.  So, this makes it all kinda crazy because it’s out context and think my hair has caught fire!

I’m pretty gobsmocked because this is so bizzaro and out of context and I’m not sure what we’re doing. 

Court called for the day till tomorrow at 8:15  for the lawyers.

Very strange day!

Martin MacNeill Murder Trial – Day 10

11/01/2013 117 comments

Well, yesterday was pretty much a bust.  We had to suffer through more of Spencer’s nitpicking over Alexis’ statements.  All in all, Spencer scored no points.  Then we had the testimony of Dr. Grey, ME.Again, that yielded pretty much nothing.  Pretty much a lost day.

Well, I just got a call from Donchais and her power is out!  ME’s are not my favorite to report on, I will do my best to keep you up on what happened until she gets her power back.  ritanita

Court convened at 10:36.  Dr. David Cragun was called to the stand.  He is an interventional cardiologist. He’s been practicing for 6 years.  He is an expert in clinical cardiology and is an active practitioner treating and managing patients.

He reviewed the medical reports from the case as well as the autopsy findings.

Jared Perkins asked how he went about his evaluation.  He said that he went through all the reports because he didn’t have a patient to examine.  Dr. Cragun went on to give examples of his background in doing such consultations.

First, Perkins asked about the risks of the drugs used on Michele if she had myocarditis.  He said that the dosage and combination of medications would cause a wide range of effects.  As an answer, we went into a lot of medical discussion I will not report here.

He said she had a mild case of myocarditis.  Most cases don’t rise to the level of medical detection.  The degree of findings by Dr. Fricke did not suggest she should have had a fatal event.

According to Dr. Thompson, none of the family had noted any symptoms of myocarditis.  Cragun said that her “course would be benign” and a fatal event would be rare.

In checking the blood work, it was very normal.  The BNP was in the low normal range.  It would have been higher in a serious case.

Due to lack of oxygen, the liver was more damaged than the heart.

In sum, he said that the myocarditis was not likely to have caused her death.

Then, they moved on to the EKG’s.  They two looked normal with no changes to indicate any disease.

Cragun also said her QTC’s were a bit long, but can change frequently.

Hypertension is a “silent killer” according to the doctor.

Now, we got back to the original question.  Cragun reeled off the list of drugs we’ve heard so often.

Spencer objects, overruled.

Promethezine (sp?) can prolong the time it takes the heart to charge.  The other drugs would not do that.

Cragun said he can’t say if the drugs affected her traumatically because it’s not his field of expertise.

Spencer on cross now.

He asked if he would be comfortable administering Promethezine to a patient in Michele’s explanation and the doctor replied “no.”

Spences was done!

No jury questions.

Next, the State called Dr. Perper.

Woo-hoo!  Donchais is back live for the highly esteemed Dr. Perper.  His CV is awesome compared to the Utah ME.

State calls Dr. Joshua Perper, ME. Now retired.

We are hearing his CV and it’s quite impressive.

He was sent Michele’s autopsy info and was asked to review.

He looked at the autopsy slides to see if there was disease.  He looked at the heart, lung, kidney, and liver.  The same as Fricke and Grey.

He also looked at the blood and toxicology.

His opinion is that the cause of death is Michele died from drowning and the drugs she had on board contributed.

Dr. Fricke said heart disease.  Grey said myocarditis.

Perper identifies photos of the slides of the tissues and they are published for the jury.

He identifies some focal myocardial scaring, but acute inflammatory nuclei.  He found no evidence of myocarditis!

You indicate the cause of death was drowning?  Yes.

Just because you’re found in water doesn’t mean drowning.

Michele was in the water long enough to ingest large amounts of water.

During resuscitation Michele expelled about 1/2 gal of water.


After objections on testimony about Michele’s 3 blood samples by the defense because it was not given to the defense in a timely manner. Judge Pullan rules Dr. Perper may testify as it was addressed in the prelim hearing.

You lose Spencer!

He looked at labs from 2003, March 2007, and the day of death.  The April 11, 2007 report showed a significant dilution of the blood composition.  So the amount of drugs would be diluted also.

The lungs were found to be overloaded by weight…fluid in the airways.

Boy, the Utah MEs really screwed up!

He could not say the manner of death, but he said it was undetermined, but suspicious.


Cross of Perper…

Spencer shows Perper the lab report of Michele.

The pros asked you to exam the reports?   Yes.

You appear on the Nancy Grace show?  Yes.

At that time in 2010, you did have the case file?  Correct.

But, you said your believed there were discrepancies.  Yes.

You told her the Utah Me was wrong?  I don’t see it.

OMG!  Spencer gave him an incomplete report!

Danger Will Robinson, Goofy alert!

Spencer getting nasty with the good doctor.

How much have you been paid?  Somewhere between 10 and 14 thousand.

The drugs were not the cause of death?  Correct.

Spencer is stretching here, but doesn’t have the medical background/knowledge to do so.

Spencer is reaching and spinning big time.

Quite the little medical/scientific expert Spencer considers himself!

The jury has to be bleeding from eyes, ears, and noses by now! As am I!!!

Goofy was so disrespectful.


Perper says body temp after death is affected by a number of variables.  Drug use, if in water, the temp of the water…etc.

Did paramedics deny seeing lividity on Michele?  I don’t know.  It was noticed in the ER.

A dead person doesn’t vomit unless chest compressions are being performed.

The early ones weren’t being performed correctly!

Reasonably and with certainty, I believe Michele drowned.

Jury questions…

Would the use of CNS depressant raise or lower body temp?  It would depend.

Tuesday is election day so we’ll start at 10 am to give folks time to vote.

Thanks again ritanita for stepping in!

Martin MacNeill Murder Trial – Day 9

10/31/2013 58 comments

Not for nothing, this defense is a joke.  The have offered nothing other nitpicking numerous statements made by witnesses.  Think about it.  The statements have been given over a 5 year period and each witness has given multiple statements.  Now, if each statement contained the exact same words or terminology I would question the witnesses honesty.  There is no way in all those interviews anybody would say something the exact same way.  Yet, when Spencer finds the slightest difference and takes things out of context (and they’ve all been slight and explainable) he pounces on like he’s found a smoking gun.  So, it’s defense by boredom that I’m sure isn’t lost on the jury!  Brava to Alexis for grace and dignity and being unshakable!

Discussing the two federal inmates that no longer want their names known.  They also want to be transferred to another prison in fear for their lives, however the state has no control over that.  So, all 4 inmates want the same thing.  No TV and no names.

Judge rules they will not be televised nor will their names be known.

Continuing (albeit painful) cross of Alexis Somers.

We discussed your mother’s bathing habits?  Yes.

In an email you said she would enter the tub and start the water.

You said she would take her clothes off in the bathroom before the bath.  Then you wrote another email you said she would undress in the closet.

Your description of her habits changed over time?  The closet is in the bathroom.

Ok, this is the same crap we got tortured with yesterday!  Make it stop, this proves nothing!

Again, taking things out of context and skipping all over the place, back and forth.

And, the torture continues.  Not for nothing, Spencer has gone beyond the 30-40 minutes he said he needed yesterday.

Alexis had a physician friend obtain her mom’s labs.  Spencer is hammering that it was a HIPPA violation.

Alexis listed Rachel as a reference on her med school app saying she was a nanny for her.  Rachel has no children.  Alexis did this in reference to her caring for the younger sisters.

Way to go Ace, you got little to nothing! Redirect…

Your mom’s surgery was 8 days prior to her death?  Yes.

Was she still in recovery?  She was.

Did you misrepresent information on your medical school app?  I gave Rachel as a reference, but I was taking care of my sisters.

Why did your get your mom’s labs?  Because I believe my father murdered my mom.

Pretty much, Gurander is cleaning up the mess Spencer made.  Spencer opened so many doors and Gurander is waltzing through them.  Alexis is being given the opportunity to go over the omissions Spencer created.

Great redirect!

Alexis has to be spent!

Jury questions…

Do you know Michele’s pre-marriage name was?  Somers.

Who appointed you as executor?  I believe my father drew my mom’s will up.

When you left on the 10th, did you believe your parents were leaving on a cruise that Sunday?  No.

Was your father present when your mother said she didn’t want her giving more medications?  No.

State calls Dr. Todd Grey.  ME

Going over his CV.

Are you familiar with the case of Michele MacNeill?  Yes.

This is the guy who changed to undetermined, but wouldn’t go any further as to manner.

OH!  Dr. Fricke’s report doesn’t include toxicology report!  Yikes.

Fricke said Michele died of heart disease.

Can there be differences in opinions of the existence of myocarditis? Certainly.

Can manner of death be debatable?  Yes.

He reviewed the case based on new information brought out in the case and amended the cause of death and added the drug toxicology report to his findings.

Grey says the presence of drugs were responsible for CNS depressant.

Is drowning a possibility of cause of death?  It could be.

Lunch called.

Dr. Todd Grey resumes the stand.  Direct continues.

Did you change your conclusion?  Yes to undetermined.

Dang, Goofy is up.

With or without the inclusion of drugs?  Yes.

You worked often with Dr, Fricke?  Yes.

You saw nothing to believe she was mistaken?  No.

You were asked to consider drowning as a cause of death?  I didn’t see enough to say so.

You certified the cause of death as Michele having an arrhythmia? No.  You are asking about a mechanism of death, not cause of death.

We’re back into the medical and scientific stuff I can’t keep up with.

Goofy’s questioning is so crazy I can’t or don’t have the desire to transcribe it, plus the Halloween kids are already in the street screaming at 3:30 and making me insane.sorry folks.

Goofy again taking things out of context!

Jury questions…

If Michele had been given Arnica would it show it?  I don’t know what Arnicar is.

How many samples of Michele’s were taken?   We usually take 3.

Drowning was a possibility what was the possibility in Michele?  The weight of the of the lungs?

Court in recess.

Martin MacNeill Murder Trial – Day 8

10/30/2013 154 comments

I was truly saddened by the police interview with 7 year-old Ada MacNeill.  Anytime she was asked a question about her father, Ada would reply, “I don’t want to talk about it.”  On top of that, she said she felt ‘safe’ living with Alexis.  That just speaks volumes!  There must have been some kind of terror going on in that house.

Housekeeping.  Now all inmates are saying they are afraid to be identified for their safety.  Pros want all inmates to be known only by a number.

State calls Vanessa MacNeill.  She is Ada’s real mother, but due to drug addiction her parents took her.  MacNeill once made a statement he wanted to kill her for the shame she brought on the family.

She’s nervous as hell and is on the verge of tears.

Says she and her dad got along when she was growing up.

She was not living at home in 2007.

She was convicted for possession of heroin in 2011.

She found out about her mom’s death by a phone call from Damien.

She arrived at her parent’s house.  All the kids where there except Rachel.

Her father gave her mom’s cell phone to use.  There were several voice mails from her father.  He was telling Michele to stay in bed and not be moving around or go anywhere.

After your mom died did you volunteer to take care of the kids?  Yes.

What did your father say?  Everybody needed to get on with their lives and he was going to hire a nanny.

Did you interview potential applicants?  Yes, but only one showed up.  It was Gypsy.

She called Alexis and said not to worry.  She asked if her name was Gypsy.  I said no it was Jillian.


Alexis was present during the interview with investigators?  I don’t remember.

State calls Sabrina MacNeill.  She was from the Ukraine

She was adopted by the MacNeill‘s when she was 11.

She said growing up in that house was just wonderful.

She was at school and a friend picked up she and Ada.  Eventually she went home when she found out her mom died.

A couple of weeks later her father introduced her to Gypsy as their new nanny.  Gypsy did nothing as a nanny as she recalls.

She spoke with her mom the morning she died just before she left for school.


Your dad was the one who told you your mother died?  Yes.

He was upset?  He had a towel over his face.

He was crying?  I don’t know.

Gustin is doing her hardest to impeach her on the interview he did 5 years ago and she was just a kid.  Sabrina doesn’t remember a lot of this.

Jury questions…

Do you remember how you got to school on April 11?  I think it was my dad who dropped me off.

Recess for 10 minutes.

Long sidebar about this next witness.

State calls Anna Walthall.  Another mistress.

She started an affair with MacNeill in 2005.  It ended in October 2005.

MacNeill told her the process of how to make someone have a heat attack.  There is something you can give someone that isn’t detectable.

When you moved, did you and MacNeill talk about him moving with you?  Yes, but he made no commitment.


You had dreams about this case?  Yes.

You told investigators there was evidence on a computer in your dream?  Yes.

She has multiple personality disorder!

You told investigators you wanted MacNeill to be found guilty of Michele’s death?  Probably.

State calls Alexis Somers.

She is a doctor in a health clinic doing family practice.

Growing up she had a close relationship with her father.

April 11 she recalls being in school and called home and her father said her mother was in the tub and not breathing.

She immediately flew home.

The beginning of April she flew home on spring break because her mother was going to have a facelift.

Says MacNeill was using a PDR at the house making a list of drugs he wanted Dr. Thompson to prescribe.

After Michele’s surgery, Michele wanted to stay over night and not make the hour drive home.  MacNeill got angry.

When Michele came home Alexis was being her caregiver.

She cared for her mom the day of April 4, but that night MacNeill said he would take over the care and insisted Alexis leave.  The next morning she saw her mom and found her overly medicated.

MacNeill said he probably overmedicated Michele.

Alexis was documenting all the meds, blood pressure, what she eating, etc.

When Michele was finally lucid, Alexis asked her what happened.  Michele said MacNeill just kept giving her medication.  She didn’t want MacNeill to give her any more medication and asked Alexis to take out all the pills so she could feel what the felt like so she would know what they were.

Michele progressed very well and was out and about.

The black book Alexis was documenting the drugs in disappeared on April 11!

Alexis says Michele never needed Phenergen, Ambien, or Valium.

Holy cow!

Alexis spoke to her mom early in the morning of the 11th and Michele was happy and upbeat.

When she got home the night of the 11th she went to her parents bedroom to get the medication and saw the room had been cleared out.  The hospital bed was gone, the meds were gone, the black book was gone as well as stuffed animals that had been in the room.

She asked her dad where the meds were and he said maybe the police took them.

She first met Gypsy at the family home and MacNeill said she was the nanny.

She knew About Gypsy a few days before her mom died.  Her parents were arguing about her.  Michele accused him of having an affair.

In the home, Alexis never saw Gypsy perform any duties that a nanny would perform.  She told her father she knew he was having an affair with Gypsy.  Her father got irate.

Lunch called.


You have been very involved with the investigators?  Correct.

You also went to many media outlets?  Correct.

You shared emails with your memories of facts?  Yes.

You sat in on an interview with Rachel?  Yes.

You sat in on an interview with Vanessa also?  Yes.

An interview with Linda Cluff?  Correct.

Defense is cherry picking from shortened versions of reports.

You spoke for sometime about the over medication?  Yes on the 4th.

You said it took a whole day for your other to become lucid?  Yes.

You also told 20/20 the same thing?  Yes.

Def pushing hard to say Alexis has been inconsistent in her statements.

Spencer is going through numerous interviews line-by-line and is all over the freakin place.  He’s getting nowhere fast by spinning wheels.

I’m not getting it because it sounds like all of this is lining up with her story.

Alexis has been cool and collected as a witness.  Don’t know how she is keeping her cool because I’m pulling my hair out!

Spencer keeps taking things out of context and trying to put words in Alexis’ mouth.

OMG, Spencer has driven me close to sticking a pen in my eye!

Jury question…Alexis, do you hate Mr. Spencer?

Spencer has so blown this.  The jury is yawning, rubbing their eyes, not taking notes, and looking all over the place.  Way to go Spence!

Waiting for Judge Pullan to jump the bench and throttle Spencer.

Lord, Spencer now says he has another 30 to 40 minutes.  Court is called to continue tomorrow.

Martin MacNeill Murder Trial – Day 7

10/29/2013 189 comments

On Friday, we got our first glimpse of Gypsy Willis.  We know that she attended Michele’s funeral.  She claims her relationship with MacNeill was casual.  I’m waiting to see what the text messages will reveal.  Should be very interesting!

Pros saying Gypsy is a hostile witness and protecting MacNeill.  Judge agrees.

Pros also wants 404B info brought in, like the kids weren’t a priority.  Judge says he wants to hear more of Gypsy’s testimony first.

Long sidebar.

Screen shot 2013-10-29 at 10.52.34 AMGypsy on the stand at 8:50.

April 2007 did you take pictures of your self?  Yes I do when I’m looking good.

She identifies pictures she took of herself that she sent to MacNeill.  The photos were taking the day after Michele’s death.

When were you hired as the nanny?  Around the 20th.  Damien, Vanessa and the children were there.  She told them about herself.

Did the defendant tell about other candidates?  He didn’t say.

People have testified that you didn’t do things like cook, clean or look after the kids.  If the older girls were there I would defer to them.

You took trips with the defendant?  Yes.

Who watched the children?  Alexis, maybe?

In June 2007 you began looking at wedding rings?  June or July.

Have you been proposed to since the defendant proposed?  Yes.

Did you hear the defendant tell his children about the marriage?  He said he did.

Had you previously been married in the temple?  Yes.

By not officially being married, you still held yourself out as Jillian MacNeill?  Yes.

Did you obtain and ID?  Yes.

Under what name?  Jillian MacNeill.

Did you represent you were married?  Yes.

What was the wedding date?  April 14.  What is the significance of that?  It was the day of Michele’s funeral.


You got a deal from the prosecutors?  I did.

You wouldn’t have to spend 3 years in prison?  Yes.

Based on you testifying truthfully?  Yes.

Did you use Yahoo messenger?  Yes.


You had previously admitted to committing felonies?  Yes.

And it had nothing to do with Michele’s death?  Correct.

Jury questions…

Was there a reason that it was decided that you would be introduced to a family member at the temple?  Yes,

Did you have previous experience working as a nanny?  No.

Did Martin ever discuss Michele’s health or the surgery?  No.

State calls Roma Henrie.  Employed by USDC.

She knew MacNeill.

She was at the safety fair all day.  She saw MacNeill around 11am.

MacNeill wanted to get the award now because he had to pick up his daughter and check on his wife.

She was the one who took the photo at the awards ceremony recording MacNeill’s presence the morning of the 11th.  MacNeill was adamant that she got him in the picture and suggested she take a second one.

MacNeill came to work the Monday after the funeral and he was wearing a different wedding band.

She offered her condolences and said MacNeill seemed sad and said Michelle had elective surgery he didn’t want her to have and they missed a heart condition.


While you were at the fair did you observe the medical booth?   Yes.

You attended the funeral?  Yes.

Did you recall Rachel speaking?  Yes.

Did you remember Rachel recalling how sick her mother was on Easter?  Yes.

She was sick in bed and missed the Easter egg hunt.

She is released.

State calls Cheryl Radmall.

She knew Michele from church.

She found out Michele died on the day she died and she was shocked.

She and her husband and friends went to the MacNeill home.

MacNeill showed them the renovations.   The girls were all there and upset.  MacNeill never spoke about Michele.

No cross or jury questions.

She is released.

State calls Loreen Thompson.

She also knew Michele from church.  She, Michele and Cheryl worked on a council together.

She found out about Michele had passed.

Michele had no serious health problems.  Martin had health issues, MS!

Now why in god’s name would MacNeill tell Michele he has MS???

Martin spoke at Michele’s funeral.  Most of talk he gave was about himself.

At the funeral luncheon MacNeill seemed happy.


State calls Lani Swallow.

This is the last of the 4 women on the council Michele led.

She knew all the kids.

She was at the funeral and said MacNeill didn’t cry or seem upset.

She had been laid-off and offered to take care of the girls.  MacNeill said it was ok, he had hired a nanny.  This was the day of the funeral!

State calls Linda Cluff.  Michele’s sister.

She’s known MacNeill for 30 odd years.

Michele was a very close mom to her children.

She went to the funeral and burial.  She says MacNeiill wasn’t using a cane at that time and he was fine.

During the service he was limping and using a cane.

At the funeral luncheon MacNeill was smiling and joking around about getting used to living the life of a bachelor and hanging-out with buddies and golfing.


MacNeill didn’t try to hide the fact he was using a cane?  No.

You created a website and the defendant?  Yes.

You listed a number of media sites about the defendant?  Yes.

State calls Vicky Willis.

Gypsy’s mom.

She knows MacNeill as Gypsy’s fiancé.  She met him in May of 2007.

MacNeill sent her a letter and a painting for mother’s day.

She said MacNeill was very impressive as a doctor and a lawyer.

They learned about Michele and believed she had passed in January 2007!!!

MacNeill was the dominate person in the relationship and Gypsy seemed to be careful around him.

At their engagement party MacNeill was happy.

Did your ever speak to MacNeill about his relationship with Michele?


You spoke with MacNeill about his relationship with Michele?  Yes.

He said he never loved Michele like he loved Gypsy.

Witness released.

They have 1 –2 witnesses left today and are now having equip problem.

Recess called.

Looks like we’re gonna see the tape of Ada’s interview.

The tape is being played for the court.

Ada is pretty bright!

Says she feels safe living with Alexis.

Sadly, she is struggling talking about MacNeill and says she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Also doesn’t want to talk about Michele because it makes her sad!

You can hear Ada drawing and it’s so frantic it’s scary.

This is heartbreaking.

Remember, it was MacNeill who exclaimed, ‘Ada is ruined”.

When asked questions about her dad, she responds, ‘ I don’t want to talk about it’ each time.

Court ends early at 1:12 MT due to lack of additional witnesses

Martin MacNeill Murder Trial – Day 6

10/25/2013 219 comments

Yesterday’s treatment of Rachel MacNeill surely left a bad taste in my mouth.  I surprised she survived, but she did get it through it.  Gustin was intentionally trying to push her buttons and I’m sure the jury saw that.

Judge Pullan on the bench at 8:40 MT.

After reviewing law, he has decided Ada may testify limited to the Children’s Justice Center interview.

Jury brought in at 9:14 MT.

State calls Dr. Gary Dawson.  Toxicologist/pharmacologist.

He goes over his CV.  And, is it lengthy!

Pros is spending way too much time going over science and putting everybody to sleep.  The idea is to get to Michele’s tox report and we’re nowhere close to getting there.

Thank God the Judge calls a break!


He reviewed Michele’s toxicology report and the autopsy report.

He lists the drugs found in Michele blood.

Pretty much Dawson says many of the drugs were CNS (central nervous system) depressants and sedating.

Kinda shows MacNeill knew exactly what he was doing when he did his drug shopping!

Was she drug naive or experienced?  Naive.

They go over a ton of scripts over the years and I have to question, 1 who wrote them and 2. who was taking all of them?  Michele was drug sensitive and didn’t take meds.  Was MacNeill taking them?

Lunch called.

Way too much science and medical info for me to keep up with, lol!


Dawson was interested in finding out why and how there was a reval in the autopsy report.

Lord, def is cherry picking, nit-picking on prior statements again.  This is their whole tactic!  Spencer going line-by-line again through earlier testimony.

Spencer is going to the drugs had nothing to do with Michele’s death had nothing to due with the drugs, but a heart condition, myocarditis.

I’m feeling all this doesn’t prove or disprove anything and has been a waste of time except that she must have been at a pretty low state of consciousness when he drowned her.

Redirect is rehabilitating I think.

Jury questions…

Blood sample was taken 24 hours after the death of Michele, is that typical?  It depends, 24 hours isn’t a long time.

State calls Gypsy Willis.  The mistress.

She has also gone by Jillian MacNeill.

She has been convicted prior.

She met MacNeill on line.  She had several online names.

She developed a relationship with MacNeill.

The sexual relationship was casual. MacNeill had a duplex that she moved into and he gave her a credit card to use and was helping her with schooling costs.

Cell phone records are brought out.  They are covering calls to her cell from MacNeill.

Just prior to Michelle’s death the calls increase.

On the day Michele died, MacNeil, called her the evening the of the death.

The text messaging was prolific leading up to and after Michele’s death.

April 14 there were about 22 texts…the day of Michele’s funeral!

She attended the funeral and offered condolences and said she was there if he needed her.

Judge calls it a day.  Back Tuesday.

Martin MacNeill Murder Trial – Day 5

10/25/2013 83 comments

Now that they started mixing up the witnesses, we had a more interesting day.  Today young Ada will be in court so Judge Pullan can decide whether or not she can testify.  I can only imagine how hard this will be for the 12 year-old!

State calls Doug Witney.  Case investigator.

He was given the case to review by Jeff Robinson.

He came into contact with Alexis Somers who provided him a lot of information.

Ada is the daughter of Vanessa and adopted by the MacNeills’.

Ada was interviewed by Patty Johnston because she was the one who found her mom in tub.

Did you ever interview Ada?  No.

Did Jeff Robinson?  No.

They were hoping to get more information from Ada than what they learned in the original interview.

As time passed Ada told Alexis more and more about what she had seen in the bathroom.

Did you ever tell Alexis we need Ada to say this?  Absolutely not.


You shared your theories with Alexis?  They changed weekly.

You showed Alexis your investigative summary?  Yes.

Witney is given a copy of an email and he says it was sent by Rachel.  She said Ada told her some things she remembered.  Rachel said MacNeill rearranged Michele’s body.

Ada said mom was in black and blue pants and a black shirt…Alexis said she thought it was Michele’s running suit.

Another email from Alexis where she says she has a concern about questioning Ada any further.

Email from Alexis to you about what additional information you needed from Ada?  If I responded, my email would be attached.

Spencer keeps alluding to Witney not providing all the info in discovery, however Witney was no longer working in the office at that time and wasn’t part of discovery.

You told Alexis to talk to Ada again?  Yes, I wanted to know how close Ada got to the tub in order to know what she saw.

Judge asks Witney how many times he asked Alexis to follow-up with Ada.  I believe a couple times.

Jeff Robinson is called.  He worked with Witney doing interviews.

Did you interview Ada?  I did not.

Did you communicate with Alexis about this case?  Yes.

Did you ask Alexis to ask specific questions of Ada?  Yes, he wanted to know where Ada was in the bath and how much water was in the tub.


In the interview Alexis was asked to get more information from Ada.  Yes.

You followed up with Alexis?  Yes, I asked for a diagram from Ada as to how she saw her mother in the tub.

Apparently several question were asked of Alexis and a bunch of these emails are nothing more than follow-up while he was waiting for response.  This is splitting hairs.

You emailed Doug Witney that the more information we get from Alexis, the more conflicting information we get and that concerns me.  Yes, I wrote that.

A lot of the investigative info was released to the media?  Yes.

And numerous media outlets have covered this case?  Yes.

Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 11.54.32 AMAlexis Somers called.

She is Ada’s legal guardian.

Are you aware of an interview she gave at the Children’s Justice Center?  Yes, she was 7 at the time.

Have you ever talked to Ada about April 11?  Yes, over the years she’s brought things up.

Did you avoid suggesting answers?  Yes.

Did Witney and Robinson ask you specific questions about the case?  Yes.

She is aware of the media interest in the story.

Did you take any measures to shield Ada from the media?  Yes, I never allowed her to see any of it.

Did you ever tell Ada that you thought your father killed your mother?  No, I never told her.


Do you recall the preliminary hearing?  Yes.

Do you recall anything Ada said prior to the 2009 interview with Ada?  Not that I remember.

We’re back on nit picking the pile of emails again, going line-by-line…acckkk.  As you can tell, I stopped typing most of this crap!

Jury brought in finally at 11:05 MT.

State calls Rachel MacNeill.Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 1.08.45 PM

She identifies her father.  She’s starting to cry.

She identifies a picture of her mom.

Growing up she was very close to her father.

She was very close to her mom.

She is really struggling with emotions here.

She recalls April 11 clearly.

Do you remember hearing your mom died?  Yes.

She had several calls from her father in which he said to get to the hospital; it’s your mother, quick.

She got to the family home and went to her father.  Alexis was there.

MacNeill took her to the bathroom to explain what happened to her mother.  MacNeill was adamant to describe what happened.

MacNeill physically showed step by step what happened and said Ada was ruined.

OMG, MacNeill said Ada is ruined!!!

She steps down to approach the tub and halts.

Rachel is very emotional that they take a few minute break.

Did your dad make any comments about a police investigation?  Yes.

My father was very concerned about getting an autopsy down right away.  He wanted it down because he was concerned there would be an investigation because he didn’t want anyone to think he had anything to do with he mother.

She found her mother’s hospital bed in the garage as well as all her mom’s belongings including her mom’s dark blue running suits.  This was the night of the 11th.

Her father told her they needed to hire a nanny.  She told her father she quit her job, she could take care of them.  Her father said don’t you dare quit.

The Tuesday after the funeral her father insisted she go to the LDS temple to pray about the nanny.

As they were outside the temple a woman walked up to offer condolences…it was Gypsy!

She identifies a picture of Gypsy.  Says she was at the funeral.  And again when her father moved her into the house about a few weeks after Michele died.

As a nanny she did nothing relating to the children, cooking or cleaning.

She knew fairly quickly that Gypsy and her father were having an affair.

Interesting, when Rachel starts to calm and focus, the def keeps jumping up with objections to unsettle her.

They had a meeting about the will and MacNeill gave her, Alexis and Damien $5k each which was very weird to her.

Back to the tub.  Rachel describes how her father said her mom was slumped over the tub with her head in the tub and underwater.  Her father also told her mother only had her top garment on and nothing else and kept talking about having an autopsy done.

Again, she becomes unglued.

Witness passed.

Def asks for lunch break, jury says they want to continue so the take a 10-minute break instead.


You never told anyone about your dad joking about being single before?  I don’t recall.

In the garage did you see the hospital bed there?  Yes.

At the family Easter dinner your mom didn’t participate?  She was sick and in bed.

Well hell, MacNeill was od’ing her!

When you saw your dad he was depressed and crying?  Yes.

You did a demonstration at the tub?  Yes.

You said your mom’s feet were sticking out of the tub?  Yes.

Defense is being horribly cruel here.

You said everything was a bloody mess, but you told Witney there were wet towels and some blood?  I’m not good with blood, it upsets me.

You were concerned with your other siblings seeing what was in the garage?  Yes.

You stated your dad wanted to get the autopsy done?  Yes.

This is crossing the line and we’re back to nit-picking again.

OMG, my head is going to explode!

Holy cow!  Def is going to introduce Rachel’s bipolar disorder.  What an ambush and so disgusting!!!!  Talk about victimizing the victim!

After your mother’s death you lived with Alexis?  Yes.

June 3rd 2007 you sent an email to Alexis about questions?  Yes.

You wrote something is very wrong.  Something is very wrong with the nanny.  We should hire an investigator.  What is her full name?  Jillian or Gypsy?  Why was she at the temple and why did dad pretend not to now here?

Yes, those are all thoughts I’ve had.

After reading through the email, this is an email you wrote and is not a fake?  Yes.

You’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness?  Yes.

You’ve had delusions and psychosis?  No.

You used a doctor named Jeffery Hanson? I don’t know that name.

Gustin is impeaching Rachel with her medical records.

You were very anxious?  Yes.

You told the doctor about your mental state?  I don’t recall.

You’ve been diagnosed bipolar.


When your father acted out how your mother was found, who was there?  Alexis.

Do you know if other people were aware of the decorative towels and stuffed animals were missing?  Yes.

When Gypsy moved in who else was there?  The whole family.

Jury questions…

Did MacNeill describe turning you mother’s body over?  I don’t remember.

Did MacNeill tell you any concerns about what the autopsy would find?  I don’t remember.

What torture for Rachel!

I’m exhausted and need to rest, so I’m out of here.

Martin MacNeil Murder Trial – Day 4

10/23/2013 89 comments

Hopefully we will get into some interesting testimony.  So far, this has been slow and lack-luster performances by the pros and def have made this hard to sit through!

Court resumes at 8:37 MT.  We start with a bench conference.

State calls Dr. Scott Van Wagoner.  ER doc who worked on Michele.

He lays out his CV.

He knew MacNeill through work.  They interacted regarding common patients.

He was notified by EMS they were bringing in Michele.  She was intubated in the field prior to arrival.  They suctioned her airway.

She had no pulse or blood pressure.  She was bluish.  She had lividity in her buttocks and back.  Lividity can occur as soon as 30 minutes.

He believes Michele was dead when she arrived at the ER.

Michele didn’t respond to any of the attempts they made.

He describes how CPR is done.

The way Michele was positioned in the tub would have made it not possible to perform CPR.

So MacNeill is so busted about that CPR he did!

He contacted the ME to determine the cause of death.

Did you see the defendant that day yes.  He was agitated and angry.  MacNeil was asking why Michele had the surgery.

MacNeill offered the doctor $10k to continue the resuscitation which the doctor found odd.

MacNeill told him that Michele passed out in the tub and he pulled her out and began CPR.


If you couldn’t lift someone out of the tub wouldn’t it be appropriate to do the best you can?  Yes.

You’re familiar with the Ambu bag?  Yes.

An Ambu bag if used incorrectly could fill the stomach with air and could lead to vomiting?  It could.

At the preliminary hearing you said you don’t know when you noticed the lividity?  Yes, I don’t know the time.

Based on his belief that Michele had a clot, he administered TPA to break the clot.

You said the incisions on Michele from surgery were gaping open?  They were split open, but I didn’t use the word gapping.

You drew blood and blood gases for the ME?  Yes.

You said MacNeill was odd and eccentric?  I always felt he was.

You didn’t notice any signs of rigor?  No.

You took Michele’s temperature?  Yes.

What was it? 35.7 C


When someone dies body temperature drops?  Yes

State calls Stephanie Hanson.  Nurse.

She works with Van Wagoner.

She helped with Michele.

She noticed Michele’s coloring was poor due to lack of circulation.

She says Michele felt cool to the touch.

She saw MacNeill in the ER.   He was agitated and upset.  He was saying why would she do this, I told her not to do this.


Do you remember the interview with investigators?  Yes.

She noticed lividity on Michele.

State calls Melissa Frost.  Utah State Developmental Center. Safety officer.

She knows MacNeill; they did some work together.

She identifies an aerial photo of the USDC campus and she marks the building where she worked.

They had safety fairs to lower workplace injuries.

MacNeill usually didn’t think they were important.

She remembered arriving 6am the morning of April 11 and worked until 2am.

She didn’t see MacNeill until just before the award ceremony at 11 or 11:15.  The award ceremony was scheduled for 11:45 but it had to be rescheduled.


Recess called for the jury.

Frost received 2 phone calls saying the award ceremony needed to be moved because MacNeill’s wife was sick.

There is argument back-and-forth about hearsay and the defense doesn’t want the part about Michele being sick brought in.

The jury will not hear that Michele was sick.

The award ceremony was rescheduled to the benefit of MacNeill.  Changing the time was frustrating to her.  She received a second call saying they were moving back to the original time.

She received a third call around 10:40 and was told they were doing the award right now.

MacNeill arrived shortly after 11 and received the award.  He hung around for about 15 minutes


You met with investigators?  Yes.

And attended the preliminary hearing?  Yes.

You said the award was scheduled for 11:45?  Correct.

Doug Whitney asked for an agenda?  I don’t recall that.

In that interview you told Doug Whitney the award was scheduled for 11:45?  I don’t recall.

She is given a copy of the interview to refresh her memory.

You said the award was typically between 11 and 12?  Yes.

This nit picking has to stop!                                         

 State calls Gayla Moore.

Wow, they just broke for lunch.

Gayla Moore back on the stand.  She worked at USDC.  Housekeeping supervisor.

She interacted with MacNeill.  Her office controlled medical supplies and they would clean MacNeill’s office.  They were friendly.

She saw him on the 11th.  MacNeill seemed to be anxious and in a hurry to get to the safety fair.

She heard later that day Michele had passed.  She spoke with MacNeill the Monday after Michele’s funeral.  She offers her condolences and he seemed fine and happy.


MacNeill typically wore a lab coat with writing on it?  Some times.

State calls David Laycock.  Human resources at the center.

He knows MacNeill from work.

Were you aware of MacNeill’s health problems?  Yes.

He told me of problems with his nervous system and cancer in his big toe cancer.

MacNeill said he went to a Mayo clinic about the cancer.

He saw MacNeill at the safety fair and MacNeill told him he needed his photo taken because he had got an award.  He was adamant about the picture.


Did you meet with investigators?  I did.

You saw MacNeill’s toe?  Yes it was swollen.

Was it the cancer fatal?  I don’t know.

State calls Guy Thompson.  Superintendant of the center.

He knows MacNeill.  They interacted daily.

He attended the health fair and he saw MacNeill there at 9, 9:30.

He saw him at the funeral and then interacted the following Monday.

MacNeill was looking for a room to rent for a female to rent while she was working on her nursing degree.

State calls Eileen Heng.  Girlfriend of MacNeill’s son.  She is the one MacNeill had dump the meds in the toilet.

Damion, the son, texted her and told her Michele had died.

She got to the house between 1 and 2pm.

MacNeill took them to the bedroom and asked her to retrieve the drugs. He and Damion counted the drugs.

She didn’t know what the drugs were.

MacNeill said Michele wasn’t taking the drugs and he wanted to know what was missing.

MacNiell was frustrated and asked her to flush the meds.  The pill bottles were thrown in the garbage.

Alexis arrived a few hours later after the pills were gone.

MacNeill told her there was blood every in the bathroom and said he believed Michele had fallen and hit her head.

She noticed contention between MacNeill and Alexis.

Court in recess.

Back on record.

Was a person named Jillian the reason for the discord?   Yes.

She helped interview the nannies.

MacNeill only had one nanny to interview.  Mac Neill hired her.

Alexis and Rachel weren’t part of the process.

She found out that MacNeill and Gypsy were involved in an intimate relationship.


You spent a lot of time at the MacNeill home?  Yes.

You arrived at the MaNeill home after the date and he very upset? Yes.

McNeill told you Michele had a top on but no pants?  Yes.

McNeill told you to go to the bathroom and retrieve the pills?  Yes.

Jury questions…

Did MacNeill tell you how he advertised for nanny position?  No.

Did you see blood in the bathroom?  No, the bedroom.

Court called for jury till 10:30, but court will be on at 8:30 MT.