Delays again in Martin MacNeill’s murder sentencing
Courts • Hearing on motion to vacate judgment in case is postponed until June 30.
Published: June 12, 2014 06:11PM
Updated: June 12, 2014 10:11PM
image
Spenser Heaps | Pool Pleasant Grove physician Martin MacNeill, right, stands with his defense attorney, Randy Spencer, left, before the start of proceedings in MacNeill's trial at 4th District Court in Provo on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. MacNeill, a Pleasant Grove physician, is charged with murder for allegedly killing his wife Michele MacNeill in 2007.

Provo • Eight months after Martin MacNeill was convicted of murdering his wife, the former doctor still has no date set for sentencing.

On Thursday, he was scheduled to appear in court where attorneys were supposed to argue whether the judge should arrest judgment in the case. But those arguments were delayed after prosecutors said the trial transcript would not be completed in time for Thursday’s arguments. Fourth District Judge Derek Pullan rescheduled the hearing to June 30.

Until Pullan rules on that motion — where MacNeill’s attorney argues that the conviction should be thrown out because a federal inmate lied on the stand about a possible early release — MacNeill cannot be sentenced.

MacNeill, 58, of Pleasant Grove, did appear in court on Thursday for a pretrial conference for an unrelated sex abuse case. But a scheduling conflict delayed arguments in that case as well, and the court hearing was rescheduled for Monday.

In January, MacNeill’s attorney, Randall Spencer, asked a judge for a competency evaluation in the sex abuse case, arguing that MacNeill’s mental and physical health have deteriorated while he has been on suicide watch at the Utah County jail. That evaluation stalled all court proceedings in both cases until he was deemed competent in April.

In the sex abuse case, MacNeill is charged with one count of forcible sexual abuse, stemming from allegations that in 2007 he put his hands down a woman relative’s pants.

On Nov. 9, a jury convicted MacNeill of first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice in the 2007 death of his wife, Michele MacNeill.

The federal inmate testified during MacNeill’s four-week trial that the defendant confessed to him that he drugged his 50-year-old wife, then drowned her in a bathtub at their Pleasant Grove home on April 11, 2007.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller