Provo • Three federal inmates who served time alongside Martin MacNeill testified Tuesday that the man revealed details about how his wife died, but none of the three said the former Pleasant Grove doctor outright admitted to killing her.
"He was like, ‘Nah, I didn’t murder my wife,’ " testified a man identified only as federal Inmate #3. " ‘ If I did, they don’t have any evidence.’ "
The 57-year-old Pleasant Grove doctor is accused of giving 50-year-old Michele MacNeill a toxic combination of prescription medications after she came home to recover from plastic surgery in April 2007. However, the state medical examiner’s office has never ruled the woman’s death a homicide.
The inmate witnesses — who fear retaliation for "snitching" and were not identified while testifying in 4th District Court — were housed in federal prison with Martin MacNeill while he was serving time for a previous identity fraud conviction.
Inmate #3 said he met Martin MacNeill at the "chicken coop" dorms at Texarkana Federal Prison and worked out with the man whom inmates referred to as "Doc."
"The only thing he said [about his wife’s death] was that she drowned," the inmate testified.
During cross-examination, Inmate #3 confirmed he had lied about another inmate having threatened a federal prosecutor because he wanted to change prison compounds after he had informed in another case.
But he insisted he was telling the truth in the MacNeill case.
"I wouldn’t travel all this way just to lie, because my life is already in danger anyways," the inmate said.
The inmate added that he wasn’t being offered any deals or benefits in exchange for his testimony, and that his life could be threatened for breaking prison rules and "snitching" on a fellow inmate.
"Why are you here?" Deputy Utah County Attorney Jared Perkins asked.
"Because I got something to say and it’s the truth," the inmate replied.
Another man, identified as Inmate #4, testified that he talked to "Doc" about his health while serving in prison together. He said Martin MacNeill initially told him that his wife was in a different prison serving time, but the inmate learned later that his wife had died. The inmate said he later asked him about his wife, after hearing rumors around the prison that a TV report had accused Martin MacNeill of murder.
"I said, ‘Well, did you do it?’ " the inmate testified. "He said, ‘Bitch drowned.’ "
But during cross-examination, defense attorney Randall Spencer asked the inmate if his client ever said directly that he killed his wife.
"He never told me he killed his wife," Inmate #4 answered.
The inmate also said he doesn’t consider himself "a snitch," adding: "I’m just telling the truth about a conversation."
When the witness identified as Inmate #2 was asked by prosecutors if Martin MacNeill said that he killed his wife, the inmate testified: "He just said, ‘They can’t prove it was me.’ "
Another inmate, scheduled to testify Wednesday, is expected to say that Martin MacNeill admitted to murder.
According to court documents, the man, identified only as Inmate #1, is expected to tell the jury that Martin MacNeill told him that he drugged his wife with Oxycontin and sleeping pills, then persuaded her to get into the bathtub, where he held her underwater for a little while "to help her out."
Prosecutors claim Martin MacNeill killed his wife in order to continue an extramarital affair with another woman, 37-year-old Gypsy Willis. He is charged with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice.Next Page >
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