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Prosecutors won't be disqualified in MacNeill murder case, judge says

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - Apr 29th, 2013 @ 3:13pm


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PROVO — A judge will not disqualify the Utah County Attorney's Office from prosecuting the case of Martin MacNeill, a Pleasant Grove doctor who is accused of killing his wife.

Attorneys for MacNeill filed a motion asking that the prosecutors be removed from the case or that the entire case be dismissed, amid allegations that prosecutors and investigators kept them from more than 1,000 pages of information — some of it "explosive" — that they argued points to their client's innocence. Fourth District Judge Samuel McVey denied the motion to dismiss the case in March, but agreed to hear arguments on the defense's request to disqualify the Utah County Attorney's Office.

He denied the motion after oral arguments Monday. MacNeill's defense attorneys have also issued a number of subpoenas to attorneys in the Utah County Attorney's Office.

The state filed an objection, arguing that the subpoenas place an undue burden on them, are not the proper avenue to obtain evidence and are unreasonable. McVey will hear arguments on this issue at a future hearing.

MacNeill, 57, has pleaded not guilty to murder, a first-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, in the April 11, 2007, death of his wife, Michele MacNeill, 50. Prosecutors allege that MacNeill overmedicated his wife, administered a dangerous combination of drugs and drowned her in the bathtub of their home.

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Prosecutors allege that MacNeill died after her husband allegedly pressured her to undergo cosmetic surgery despite her concerns and, as a doctor, he requested additional prescriptions the woman's surgeon said he otherwise would not have prescribed.

MacNeill had worked as a doctor and had a law degree, both of which police believe he used "to commit the murder and frustrate the investigation in an attempt to cover it up," court documents state.

Soon after his wife's death, MacNeill's longtime mistress, Gypsy Willis, moved into the MacNeill house as the children's new nanny. Prosecutors contend MacNeill killed his wife to be with Willis.

MacNeill was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in October, but a trial date has not yet been set.

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