< Previous Page
Instead, the woman said she washed the items and kept them, eventually turning them over to investigators.
Later, at a funeral luncheon for her mother, Martin MacNeill was joking, casual and social, Rachel MacNeill testified.
"He was making jokes about being single, and just laughing," she testified. "It made me sick. I left."
Gustin pointed during cross-examination that while Rachel MacNeill had previously said her father was making jokes at the funeral, she also testified that she saw her father "sad" during the funeral, as well.
Before the jury was brought in on Thursday morning, attorneys argued about whether Ada MacNeill, now 12, would be allowed to testify at the trial.
Defense attorneys had argued before the trial that Ada’s testimony was tainted, because she had been asked questions by her sister and legal guardian, Alexis Somers, instead of a child witness expert. They asked to have her testimony barred entirely.
The child was interviewed once at the Children’s Justice Center by an expert, but defense attorneys have noted that Somers asked the girl follow-up questions, prompted by Utah County Attorney’s Office investigators.
Prosecutors have countered that Somers never suggested answers for her younger sister to give to investigators, and there was no evidence that Ada’s testimony was swayed in any way. The questioning from Somers occurred before charges were filed against MacNeill in 2012.
Judge Derek Pullan said he will rule Friday morning on whether the girl can testify.
The state medical examiner has never ruled Michele MacNeill’s death a homicide. After an autopsy in 2007, her manner of death was ruled "natural," the result of "chronic hypertension and myocarditis, which are capable of causing acute unexpected arrhythmia and sudden death.
But investigations say Martin MacNeill called the medical examiner multiple times and gave misleading information. In 2010, in a new investigative report, Chief Medical Examiner Todd Grey changed the cause of death to the combined effects of heart disease and drug toxicity. The manner of death was changed to "undetermined."
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.