Dr. Martin MacNeill was in court Tuesday for his final hearing before jury selection begins in his first-degree murder trial on October 15.
Prosecutors say MacNeill, who is also an attorney, used his medical knowledge to kill his wife as she recuperated from a face-lift. Michele MacNeill was found dead in a bathtub in the family's Pleasant Grove, Utah, home on April 11, 2007. Medical examiners found a powerful cocktail of drugs -- including Valium, Percocet, Phenergan, and Ambien -- in her system. After drugging her, Martin allegedly drowned Mrs. MacNeill in the tub.
MacNeill has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
MacNeill appeared to be in high spirits during Tuesday’s hearing, smiling and chatting with his attorneys at the counsel table before it started. He was also engaged during the hearing, whispering with his attorneys as different issues popped up.
Judge Derek Pullan ruled on the admissibility of a variety of different pieces of evidence Tuesday, including:
That MacNeill’s adopted daughter, who was six years old when she found Michele MacNeill’s body in bathtub is competent to testify, but Pullan will rule on whether she will be able to testify during the trial
That inmates who say MacNeill told them how he killed his wife will be allowed to testify
That prosecutors will not be able to introduce evidence that Martin changed his will and transferred his property to the woman he was having an affair with, Gypsy Willis
Pullan also denied the defense’s motion to dismiss the obstruction of justice charge based on a statute of limitations
When court reconvenes October 15, the court will select 8 jurors and 3 alternates to decide MacNeill’s fate. If convicted, MacNeill could spend the rest of his life behind bars.