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Inmates say Utah doctor denied killing wife

November 5, 2013

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Three inmates testified Tuesday that a former Utah doctor on trial for the murder of his wife said disparaging things about her and boasted about investigators having no evidence connecting him to the killing.

Prosecutors put the inmates on the witness stand as they looked to build on their largely circumstantial case against Martin MacNeill. Prosecutors say he killed his wife Michele MacNeill so he could carry on an affair.

All three inmates, whose names were withheld by the court, said Martin MacNeill denied killing his wife and stressed that investigators had nothing on him.

However, they also said the defendant called his wife derogatory names and blamed his daughters for being in a Texas prison in a fraud case rather than being transferred to a halfway house.

Prosecutors hope those statements help persuade jurors that MacNeill is guilty.

However, all three inmates acknowledged that MacNeill never said he killed his wife.

Prosecutors were expected to wrap up their case on Tuesday or Wednesday. They are trying to persuade jurors that MacNeill knocked out his wife with painkillers then left her to die in a bathtub in 2007.

A medical examiner could not determine how Michele MacNeill died but said it could have been from a combination of heart disease and drug toxicity — or from drowning.

Defense lawyers said they haven’t decided whether to call any of the witnesses they identified on a list given to the court in September.

On the list is a doctor who believes Michele MacNeill died of a blood clot, and police investigators who wrongly suspected two people in another murder case based on perceived odd behavior, according to court documents.

Update hourly