Judge Derek Pullan ruled Monday at a pretrial hearing that jurors deciding the fate of Dr. Martin MacNeill, the Utah man charged with first-degree murder in his wife's death, won't hear about alleged statements he made claiming he killed his brother, attempted to kill his mother, and killed patients in his care.
MacNeill's wife, Michele MacNeill, was found dead in the family's Pleasant Grove, Utah, home on April 11, 2007, a few days after she got a facelift. Medical examiners found a powerful cocktail of drugs -- including Valium, Percocet, Phenergan and Ambien -- in her system.
Prosecutors say Martin MacNeill, a successful doctor and attorney, used his medical knowledge to kill his wife as she recuperated from a cosmetic surgery procedure.
Anna Osborne Walthall, a woman who claims to have been MacNeill's lover for several months in 2005, was expected to testify about several assertions MacNeill allegedly made to her: that he had tried to kill his mother when he was 8 years old, that he killed his brother by drowning him and that he had killed patients while practicing medicine.
MacNeill's defense argued that Walthall's testimony should be banned because she is mentally ill. Walthall says she suffers from multiple personality disorder.
Read for yourself: The information prosecutors filed against MacNeill
The judge ruled Monday that some of Walthall's testimony will be allowed in court, including statements that MacNeill allegedly made to her about disguising an intentional killing by injecting the mineral potassium to cause death. Everything else she claims he told her is not admissible at trial.
Both sides in this case will continue to argue different motions Monday, including one that would allow in hearsay statements the victim made to her daughter days before she died .
Prosecutors say that while Michele MacNeill was recovering from surgery, she told her daughter, Alexis Somers, that she was fearful, allegedly saying, "I don’t know why, but your dad just kept giving me pills. He kept giving me medication."
Somers could also testify -- if the judge allows it -- about another statement her mother allegedly made to her: "If anything happens to me, make sure it wasn’t your dad,” implying that Michele MacNeill suspected her husband was up to something.
Get caught up: Did doctor use medical know-how to kill wife?
The judge ruled earlier in the day that MacNeill's trial, set for October 15, can be broadcast on television. However, no video -- only sound -- will be recorded for two inmates who fear for their safety as "snitches" because they plan to testify that, while they were cellmates, the doctor told them about killing his wife.
Prosecutors say MacNeill was motivated to murder his wife because he was having an extramarital affair with a woman named Gypsy Willis.
According to court records, "Both Martin and Gypsy were later convicted as co-defendants of various fraud-related crimes in federal and state courts. On one forged document, they listed themselves as married and recorded their marriage date as the date of Michele's funeral."
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MacNeill is charged with first-degree murder and obstruction of justice. He has been held on a $1 million bond since his 2012 arrest.
The doctor has pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys have told reporters that their client is looking forward to the chance to prove his innocence.
If convicted of murder, MacNeill could spend the rest of his life behind bars.