Utah doctor Martin MacNeill found guilty of murdering his wife after coercing her into plastic surgery, drugging her and leaving her to die in tub — ( NY Daily News)

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NY Daily News


Utah doctor Martin MacNeill found guilty of murdering his wife after coercing her into plastic surgery, drugging her and leaving her to die in tub.

Doctor Martin MacNeill was convicted of murdering his wife, Michele MacNeill, by forcing her to get plastic surgery, then drugging her and letting her drown while taking a bath. It was all to be with his mistress, Gypsy Willis. He faces 15 years to life for what prosecutors called ‘the perfect crime.’

PROVO, Utah  — A jury convicted a doctor of murder early Saturday in the death of his wife six years ago, bringing an end to a trial that became the nation’s latest true-crime cable TV obsession with its tales of jailhouse snitches, forced plastic surgery, philandering and betrayal.

Martin MacNeill was accused of knocking out Michele MacNeill with drugs after cosmetic surgery, then leaving her to die in a tub like one that was displayed during the trial.

Prosecutors asserted that he may have held her underwater for good measure and that he did it to take up a new life with another woman.

Michele MacNeill’s daughters and other relatives let out a loud yelp before dissolving in tears as the jury delivered its verdict to the tense, packed courtroom.

“We’re just so happy he can’t hurt anyone else,” said Alexis Somers, one of his older daughters. “We miss our mom; we’ll never see her again. But that courtroom was full of so many people who loved her

Martin MacNeill, 57, showed little emotion when the verdict was read. He hugged his lawyer afterward and said, “It’s OK.”

He faces 15 years to life for first-degree murder when he is sentenced Jan. 7. He also was found guilty of obstruction of justice, which could add 1-15 years. MacNeill was led by deputies back to Utah County jail.


Randy Spencer, one of his lawyers, said he was disappointed before declining further comment.

The chief prosecutor, Chad Grunander, said the largely circumstantial case was the most difficult he ever brought to trial and that many prosecutors wouldn’t bother trying, especially with medical examiners unable to produce a finding of homicide.


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Doctors Testify in Martin MacNeill Trial

Aired October 17, 2013 – 19:00:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you remember the last time you saw your mom?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When she was in the tub.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Who`s in the bathtub?
ALEXIS MACNEILL, MICHELE`S DAUGHTER:  She looked at me and said, “Alexis, if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn`t your father.”
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Prosecutors say MacNeill convinced his wife to have plastic surgery against her wishes.
Eight days after her surgery Michele MacNeill was dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He told me that he found the perfect nanny.  Her name is Gypsy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  At first, we were like, is this a stripper?
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Breaking news tonight: The murder trial of Dr. Martin MacNeill getting off to a very dramatic start.  We heard shocking charges in opening statements.  And now the first witness on the stand.
Dr. MacNeill`s wife Michele was a beauty queen.  She was gorgeous.  He was a prominent, wealthy, handsome doctor.  They had a perfect life.  But prosecutors say behind closed doors, Well, he lived a double life with a mistress with a witness named Gypsy.
Prosecutors say his obsession — and I mean obsession — with that other woman drove him to murder his wife.  Michele MacNeill, a mother of eight, died just days after getting plastic surgery.  Prosecutors say her husband forced her to get a facelift and then fed her a dangerous drug cocktail as she tried to recover at home.
Michele`s body was found in the bathtub at their Utah home.  When emergency responders got there, prosecutors say a very theatrical Dr. MacNeill was screaming and shouting in bizarre hysterics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The defendant began to shout, “Why would you do such a thing?  All this for a stupid surgery!  I told her not to do it.  Why did you have to have this surgery?”
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  The prosecution calls Dr. MacNeill a liar and a killer whose own two adult daughters led the charge to have him brought to justice.  Those two daughters say their dad was the one who insisted their mom get the facelift, that Michele wanted to postpone it but he said, “No way.  It`s paid for.  You`re going through with it.”
But the defense said his 50-year-old wife died of natural causes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This has been such a long, long battle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  From the beginning Alexis and her siblings didn`t believe their mother accidentally fell in the tub.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I believed from the beginning that he murdered my sister and fought along with my nieces to get justice for Michele.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We`re going to continue to do everything in our power.
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Who will the jury believe?  Let`s go right back into the courtroom for today`s dramatic testimony.  Right now, on the stand, the plastic surgeon who performed the facelift on Michele, and he is being questioned by the prosecutor on redirect.  Let`s listen.
JUDGE DEREK PULLAN, PRESIDING OVER TRIAL:  I have two questions for you from the jury, Dr. Thompson.  The first is, “Did it concern you that Martin was acting as the primary care physician for Michele?”
DR. SCOTT THOMPSON, PLASTIC SURGEON:  Yes.  I thought that was a little bit unusual.
PULLAN:  And secondly, “Did you raise any objections or concerns with Martin or Michele about that?”
THOMPSON:  No, and also, he consulted with another physician, so that made me feel a little bit better.
PULLAN:  OK.  Do you have follow-up questions from the state?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, your honor.
PULLAN:  From the defense?
PULLAN:  Very good.  You may step down.  Thank you.
May Dr. Thompson be released from his trial subpoena?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Your honor, we may want to call him for rebuttal, but we don`t anticipate doing so now.
PULLAN:  You`ll remain under your subpoena, but you`ll be contacted if you`re needed again.  Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  All right.  Well, you see the first witness walk out.  That was the plastic surgeon who performed the plastic surgery, the facelift.  And it was a complicated procedure on Michele, the wife of the defendant.  He`s accused of murdering her after that procedure.  And it was a complex procedure that involved a number of different facelifts basically wrapped into one.  A facelift that lasted several hours.
And now we`re going to hear the next witness.
I can tell you they`re waiting for the next witness, who is Dr. Von Welch.  He did the pre-op exam on Michele.  And that`s very, very significant, because he suggested that she postpone the plastic surgery.  And this is what prosecutors have said.  So we`re going to hear it from his own mouth, quite possibly, when he takes the stand.
So the question is why did she proceed with the plastic surgery after the doctor who did the pre-op suggested, “Hey, we are supposed to postpone this, my dear, because you have high blood pressure”?
Now, if you listen to the testimony of the plastic surgeon, he said ultimately, she didn`t seem to have high blood pressure.  So perhaps her high blood pressure mysteriously went away, and she proceeded with the surgery.
Or perhaps Dr. MacNeill, the defendant, the man accused of murdering his wife, pressured her to proceed, despite the fact that the doctor who performed the pre-op told her, “Do not go forward with this surgery.  Get on some medication for your high blood pressure.  And come back when you have that under control.”
Now we`ve been told that this doctor, Dr. Von Welch, said that when he suggested…
PULLAN:  Dr. Welch, come back to the clerk`s desk…
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  When he suggested…
PULLAN:  Raise your right hand, sir, and take an oath.
PULLAN:  Thank you.  Would you be seated here, please, and respond to counsel`s questions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Good afternoon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Would you please state and spell your name for the record?
WELCH:  Von, V-O-N, Welch, W-E-L-C-H.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And how are you employed?
WELCH:  I`m a physician at Inner Mountain Clinic.
WELCH:  In American Fork, Utah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And how were you employed in March of 2007?
WELCH:  As an internal medicine physician.
WELCH:  What kind of training and education do you have to make you a doctor of internal medicine?
WELCH:  I completed medical school at the University of Utah, and I completed a residency in internal medicine at UCLA in California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you a licensed physician in the state of Utah?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And for how long have you been a licensed physician?
WELCH:  Been about 21 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you licensed in any other states?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you been?
WELCH:  I was licensed in California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you ever been sanctioned or disciplined by the Department of Professional Licensing or any similar agency?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Based on your experience and training, do you have the ability to assess general health and wellness?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  On March 29th of 2007, did you perform an examination of Michele MacNeill?
WELCH:  Yes, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And why did you perform that exam?
WELCH:  I had been requested by her husband to perform a preoperative exam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And who is her husband?  Or who was her husband?
WELCH:  Martin MacNeill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is that person in court today?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Could you point him out?  Could you point out who he is?
WELCH:  The gentleman right here at the front table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you stipulate to identification?  Do you stipulate to identification?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We do, your honor.
And so he called you to perform an examination of Michele?
WELCH:  That`s correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did he tell you why he needed Michele to be examined?
WELCH:  She was preparing for surgery and needed a preoperative clearance before that surgery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Because he called you, did the two of you had any kind of relationship prior to him calling you?
WELCH:  Yes, we worked together.  He was the director of the developmental center in American Fork, and patients from there would be admitted to American Fork Hospital, and I would take care of those patients while they were in the hospital.  He would take care of them while they were in the center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So you were associated through your professional capacities.  What were your impressions of him as a professional?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Objection, your honor.  Relevance?
PULLAN:  Counsel, will you approach?
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  This is such a crucial moment in the case.  Because as we all know, when a case like this gets under way, the opening statements are crucial, and the first couple of witnesses are absolutely crucial.  In fact, a lot of cases are won and lost on opening statement.
I thought both sides did an excellent job.  But the prosecutor really came out swinging with very strong statements about Dr. MacNeill, the defendant, pushing — pushing for his wife to get this plastic surgery she didn`t want at all, saying, “Hey, I paid for it already.  You`re going to go through with it, whether you have high blood pressure or not,” and then basically pushing on her a slew of mood-altering sedatives and painkillers that were not normally prescribed.
Now can they back up those assertions with these witnesses?  Presumably, since these are the first couple of witnesses, they`ve got to be the strongest witnesses in the case.
And the first witness, the plastic surgeon who actually performed the surgery, was a little wobbly.  He didn`t come out with as many strong assertions of Dr. MacNeill demanding and forcing her to get the surgery.  In fact, he said that there were three occasions where he spoke to her, and she was seemingly eager to go ahead.
Stay right there.  We`re going to be back with more on the other side.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Sir, this is 911.  Can I help you?
M. MACNEILL (via phone):  I need help!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They`re on your way.  Is your wife breathing?
M. MACNEILL:  She is not.  I`m a physician.  I have CPR in progress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Today, MacNeill stands accused of murdering his wife six years after her death, allegedly killing her so he could be with his mistress.
He says she accidentally died.  Prosecutors say they will show evidence that he poisoned her with an overdose of medication when she was recovering from a facelift.
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  We`re going to go back to the courtroom with the second witness for the prosecution on the stand.  He`s the doctor who did the pre-op on wife Michele.  And what they need to elicit from him is that he told her, “Don`t do the surgery.  Postpone it, because you`ve got high blood pressure.”
But that Dr. MacNeill, the defendant, accused of eventually killing her, said, “Oh, no, we want to go ahead.”  Let`s see if they get that out of him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In working with the defendant in a professional capacity, did he impress you in any way as a physician?
WELCH:  There were things that I liked and things that I didn`t like.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let`s focus on the things you liked.
WELCH:  I liked his focus on reducing medications when they weren`t necessary.  Many of the clients in that facility, before he was director were, in my opinion, overmedicated.  He was willing to back off on the medicine so they`d be a little more awake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This exam you performed on Michele MacNeill on March 29th of 2007, what kind of an exam was this?
WELCH:  It was — she was a new patient to me.  And my focus was on understanding her medical history and giving — and finding out if it was safe for her to proceed with surgery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I recognize this examination took place a while ago.  Do you remember it?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you make notes of any kind or have records or anything that could help refresh your recollection of that?
WELCH:  There are records in her medical chart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you reviewed those?
WELCH:  Yes.  Not recently, but I think the court has those.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Did you perform any kind of labs or other medical metrics when you met with her?
WELCH:  Yes, we performed an EKG, electrocardiogram, and we performed blood tests.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What can you tell us about this examination?
WELCH:  Both the patient and defendant were there at the beginning of the examination.  We reviewed her medical history, reviewed her symptoms, review systems.  We talked briefly about the surgery she was preparing for.  I performed an examination of her or the body systems.
We talked about the fact that she had high blood pressure and it would be ideal to have that controlled before she went under surgery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How did you determine she had high blood pressure?
WELCH:  We took a reading in the office.  And it read high.  And the patient or her husband at that time reported some previous readings that were also high.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m going to ask you to do a favor.  Would you mind pulling that mike a little bit closer to you?  Thank you.
And so this was a physical to assess Michele`s general health in preparation for a surgery?
WELCH:  That`s correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What was your understanding about the type of surgery that this was?
WELCH:  The only thing that I knew was that it was cosmetic surgery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What was your assessment of her health?
WELCH:  She was in excellent health with two exceptions.  She had elevated blood pressure, and she had depression.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Now you mentioned that at the appointment, it was yourself, the defendant and Michele.  Did it continue to be the three of you throughout the entire examination?
WELCH:  During the course of the examination, I asked the defendant to leave the examining room, because he was answering all of the questions for her.  I felt like she could speak more freely if he was out of the room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And did that, in fact, happen?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you talk to her then to assess her health?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And what did she tell you?
WELCH:  She just said that she was very depressed and stressed and had a lot of symptoms that were related to that stress.  She did not provide details.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you offer any treatment options?
WELCH:  I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What were those?
WELCHI recommended that she start on sertraline, which is an antidepressant. 
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is there another name for this drug?
WELCH:  Zoloft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Any other recommended treatment options?
WELCH:  I recommended that she start treatment for the high blood pressure with a medicine, with Lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anything else?
WELCH:  I recommended that she put off surgery until the blood pressure was controlled.  And that she report her blood pressures a week after starting treatment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Now, you mentioned that…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m sorry.  And that she do what?
WELCH:  I wanted her to report her blood pressure results a week after starting the medicine.
And why would you want a second report of the blood pressure?
WELCH:  I wanted to make sure that the medicine was effective but not too strong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And when it comes to diagnosing high blood pressure, what kind of a process is that?
WELCH:  To make the diagnosis, you need a couple of readings at different times in a relaxed environment with the patient at rest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  You mentioned that you performed an EKG?
WELCH:  That`s correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And why did you do that?
WELCH:  She gave a history of heart palpitations in the past.  And just as a precaution to see the health of her heart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And you performed that yourself?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And did you interpret that test yourself?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And how did you feel about that test?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My father orchestrated the whole plan on how to murder my mother.  Someone I thought loved the family and would do anything for us.  It`s horrifying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  What a case on the stand.  Dr. Von Welch, he is the doctor who did the pre-op exam on the woman who was ultimately killed, Michele.  And he says that he recommended she not go through with the plastic surgery.  Let`s go back into the courtroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And how did you feel about that test?
WELCH:  The test showed that her heart was in the normal sinus rhythm without any irregularities, and that there was no evidence of heart disease.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Was the high blood pressure the type of thing that would make it so that the surgery would have to be postponed?
WELCH:  Depends on what the blood — how high the blood pressure is and the point-of-view of the anesthesiologist and the surgeon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In Michele`s case, what did you think?
WELCH:  I think that her blood pressure was in the neighborhood of 160 over 110.  I think there was a chance they would have canceled it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Were you worried about long-term risk?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did the EKG cause you any — any concerns?
WELCH:  No.  It was reassuring that it was normal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you tell us about how Michele was when you were trying to get her to talk about her health and wellness?
WELCH:  She was quiet.  She didn`t have very much to say.  She would answer a question and then be quiet.  It was very difficult to get much history or information from her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Had you been told whether or not the surgery had been scheduled yet?
WELCH:  My recollection is that there was an urgency or an impending surgery and that this needed to be done quickly.  I don`t — I wasn`t aware if a date was set.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So you set — you offered recommendation as it came to the surgery, is that correct?
WELCH:  Right.  I recommended that she put it off until the blood pressure was controlled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And who specifically did you tell that recommendation to?
WELCH:  I told it to both the patient and the defendant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What was the defendant`s attitude about postponing the surgery?
WELCH:  He seemed disappointed but seemed to agree with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What was the defendant like during this examination?
WELCH:  The defendant…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Objection.  Your honor.  Speculative.
PULLAN:  You`re referring to demeanor?
PULLAN:  If you`ll rephrase.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What was the defendant`s demeanor like during this examination?
WELCH:  The defendant was anxious that we complete the evaluation, that she could proceed with surgery without having a delay.  He was a little bit animated, a little bit excited, you know, to try and get things going.  At the point I suggested they wait, there was a little bit of disappointment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did this feel abnormal to you?
WELCH:  A little bit, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you later hear of Michele MacNeill dying?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What were your thoughts about hearing of her death?
WELCH:  I was called by the emergency room physician the day that she passed away, and O was shocked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why were you shocked?
WELCH:  Because at the time that I`d examined her she was healthy, and it was just unexpected to hear that she had had a bad outcome from surgery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Were you surprised that the surgery went forward?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you, Dr. Welch.
PULLAN:  Do you have cross?
PULLAN:  Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Dr. Welch, fair to say that Martin was frequently animated in your associations with him?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And you have provided testimony before the preliminary hearing in this case, right?
WELCH:  That is correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And prior to that, you`d had an interviews with investigators Whitney and Robinson?
WELCH:  Correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And that was on June 15th of 2010.
WELCH:  Probably.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.  And the preliminary hearing was last October of 2012.
WELCH:  Sounds reasonable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.  And you gave your best recollections of what occurred in both of those prior opportunities to testify about the circumstances, as well.  Fair statement?
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And in the interview that you had in 2010, in June of 2010, obviously that was closer in time to — to the examination that you had with Michele?  Right?
WELCH:  Um-hmm.
WELCH:  Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you.  Go ahead.  And closer in time from today?
WELCH:  Yes.
PULLAN:  Thank you.  Go ahead.
SPENCER:  Closer in time from today.
WELCH:  Yes.
SPENCER:  And when you — met with the investigators, you told them you believed you had seen Michele twice.  Do you remember that?
WELCH:  I don`t remember that particular conversation.
SPENCER:  Your honor, may I approach?
PULLAN:  You may refresh his recollection.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He told me that he was worried.  He needed to get the autopsy done.  I said, “Why in the world are you worried about that?”  He said, “I don`t want anyone to think I had anything to do with it.”
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST:  This witness for the prosecution, the second witness said some important things for the state, namely that the defendant, Dr. MacNeill, seemed a tad too eager for his wife to get this plastic surgery and was disappointed when he said to put it off because she`s got a high blood pressure.
Let`s go back and listen now the cross-examination by the defense.
SPENCER:  Does that refresh your recollection at all about your — what you said with the interview with Mr. Whitney and —
WELCH:  Yes, sir.  That refreshes my recollection.
SPENCER:  Did you indicate to them that you thought that you had seen Michele twice?
WELCH:  There was a question as to whether I had seen her once or twice and I was not able to resolve that during our conversation.
SPENCER:  And when you looked at your records, you only had records for one meeting?
WELCH:  Right.
SPENCER:  Is that correct.
WELCH:  But I think I know what I had recollection of this possible second event.  And that`s that when our labs and information come back, then we think about the patient.  In her case her labs came back after her visit.  And so I sent her a message after the visit, you know, giving her instructions and information.
SPENCER:  And when you were talking with the Investigator Whitney and Investigator Robinson, you told them that the reason you had a recollection of meeting with her twice is because she may have called back and said this is what my blood pressure is.  Is surgery OK?
WELCH:  I don`t know what I was thinking then.  I think the possible of the recollection came from responding to the lab results.
SPENCER:  Fair to say that you advised all of your blood pressure patents to monitor their own blood pressure?
WELCH:  Yes, if they`re adults and able to do it.
SPENCER:  And that`s what you told the investigators, Whitney and Robinson that you recommend or, “I advise all my own blood pressure patients to have their own monitoring to measure.”  Is that correct?
WELCH:  That`s correct.
SPENCER:  And fair to say that you told investigators, Whitney and Robinson that “Yes, I think she had a date for surgery and everything.  I think we just wanted to look at the blood pressure issue since she`s going forward with it.”
WELCH:  That`s an accurate transcript.
SPENCER:  That sounds right to you?
WELCH:  Yes.
SPENCER:  And then fair to say also that you said “I think that she would have called, and when we talked on the phone she said, you know, her blood pressure was this and this.  And I would say, OK, go ahead with the surgery.  But I don’t have any record of that.”
WELCH:  Right.  I was explaining that my usual approach is that someone would call back and report their blood pressure and I would adjust their medications or whatever.
SPENCER:  So in the case of Michele, based upon your recollection in 2010 you believe that she had called in and reported her blood pressure?
WELCH:  No, she had never called in to report her blood pressure.  But our usual protocol was for someone to make a change on the medications and then give a report and then we would make an adjustment if needed.
SPENCER:  OK.  In 2010 you told the investigators that you think that she would have called.  And we talked on the phone and she said, you know, this is the blood pressure and you would say, OK, go ahead with the surgery.  Isn`t that what you said in 2010?
WELCH:  What I said in 2010 is written on the transcript.
SPENCER:  Would you like to see it.
PULLAN:  No, just impeach him with it.  You don`t have to show it to him.
WELCH:  I`m not sure what you`re trying to ask.  You`re wondering how much I remember of the second conversation?
SPENCER:  All I want is to confirm in 2010 you told investigators that you believed that Michele called in and said this is my blood pressure, and you would have said OK.
WELCH:  In 2010 I thought she might have.
SPENCER:  OK.  And you don`t have any record?
WELCH:  I don`t have any record or specific recollection.
SPENCER:  Either way.
WELCH:  I just — again I explained to them, my usual protocol is to follow that procedure.
SPENCER:  And you had a recollection also in 2010 of thinking you met with her twice.  But you only have records of one meeting —
WELCH:  I think my recollection at that time was of having met her once and maybe talked to her on the phone once.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Your wife is unconscious?
MARTIN MACNEILL, ON TRIAL FOR WIFE`S MURDER:  She is unconscious.  She`s underwater.
She’s under the water.  I need you to get me an ambulance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK.  Is she breathing at all?
MACNEILL:  She is not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Martin MacNeill screaming at dispatchers as he`s doing CPR, trying to save Michele MacNeill, the wife he`s now accused of murdering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This was a man that masqueraded as a loving father.
ALEXIS SOMERS, VICTIM`S DAUGHTER:  This is someone that I thought loved his family and would do anything for us.  And it`s horrifying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Alexis and her siblings believe their father killed their mother, Michele MacNeill.
SOMERS:  My father orchestrated this whole plan on how to murder my mother.
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  What a battle in court.  The defense attorney — the attorney for Dr. Martin MacNeill accused of murdering his wife.  He has a big smile, this attorney, but he is poking away and really trying to disarm and disable the argument that this witness, a doctor who examined Michele, is making.  Watch his smile as we go back into court.
SPENCER:  When you asked to speak with Mrs. MacNeill alone during the examination, Mr. MacNeill didn`t throw a fit or have any problems with it, did he?
SPENCER:  When investigators, Robinson and Whitney met with you, they told you that they were looked at filing charges against Mr. MacNeill, didn`t they?
PULLAN:  Is this for effect on the hear (ph)?
PULLAN:  Overruled.
WELCH:  What was the question again.
SPENCER:  When investigators Robinson and Whitney met with you they told you that they were going to file charges against Mr. MacNeill, didn`t they?
WELCH:  I believe so.
SPENCER:  And they told you that they were having a real hard time, “We’re having a heck of a time getting past Dr. Grey, didn`t they?”
WELCH:  I don`t remember that statement.
PULLAN:  For what purpose?
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Wow.  Do you see what I’m talking about?  That smile that the defense attorney has.  Then what he does is he points out contradictions between what these people have said before, these witnesses, and what they’re saying on the stand now.  It’s very effective.
And I think it’s throwing this witness off balance.  Remember this is a crucial witness.  This is the second witness for the state.  The one who said he told Michele, don’t get the facelift and felt that Dr. MacNeill was very disappointed when he said that.
All right.  Stay right there.  We`re going to take a very short break.
You know what — actually, I think we`re going to go back into court right now because this is a crucial moment.  So let’s stick with this and see what happens next.
SPENCER:  In your experience as a physician, it’s common for Percocet and Phenergan to be described with it.  Fair statement?
WELCH:  I`ve seen them prescribed together at times.
SPENCER:  At the preliminary hearing you indicated that Percocet and Phenergan are prescribed together frequently.  Is that correct?
WELCH:  Yes.
SPENCER:  And based upon your examination of Michele MacNeill, you didn’t see any contra-indications to providing those medications, did you?
WELCH:  I don’t remember that.
SPENCER:  Well, I’m asking you if that’s just a fair statement based upon your examination of Michele MacNeill on March 29 of 2007, did you see any contra-indications to prescribing Percocet and Phenergan together?
WELCH:  Well, her examination was normal, so she would be treated as anyone else that is normal.
SPENCER:  Right.
WELCH:  And those are prescriptions that are used for people that have normal health.
SPENCER:  That`s my point.  So you didn`t see any reason that it would be unwise to prescribe Percocet and Phenergan together based upon your examination of Michele?
WELCH:  During our examination there was no conversation of what medications would be used or what medications would be safe.
SPENCER:  I understand that.  My question is simply that there was no reason that you saw that would indicate to you that it would have been improper to prescribe Percocet and Phenergan together to Michele MacNeill in April of 2007.
WELCH:  Again, her health was good.  There was no contra-indication to using those medications.
SPENCER:  You also didn`t see any contra-indications to the medications of Ambien and Valium, either, did you?
WELCH:  Again, at the time of the examination that question was never brought forth or considered.
SPENCER:  I understand.  I`m just asking you as a physician, you didn’t see any contra-indications to her being prescribed Ambien and Valium based upon your knowledge — correct?
PEAD:  Objection.  This is outside of the scope, Your Honor.
PULLAN:  Overruled.  You may answer.
WELCH:  My opinion is these kinds of medications carry risk and carry danger, and they should be used carefully.  And that there was nothing in my examination of Mrs. MacNeill that would contra-indicate the normal use of those medications.
SPENCER:  In addition to — do you remember in your meeting with investigators Whitney and Robinson, them talking to you about many allegations that Mr. MacNeill’s daughters were making against him?
WELCH:  Yes.
SPENCER:  Does that refresh your recollection at all on their discussion with you about Dr. Gray or the medical examiner?
WELCH:  I don’t know Dr. Gray.
SPENCER:  Do you recall them discussing with you having a difficult time with the Utah State medical examiner in relation to their investigation.
WELCH:  I remember something about the medical examiner.
SPENCER:  Just asking.  Yes or no.  Do you remember them discussing with you having a problem with Utah State medical examiner?
SPENCER:  You don’t know that?  OK.  That`s all the questions I have.
PULLAN:  Do you have redirect of the doctor?
PULLAN:  Go ahead.
PEAD:  Is it fun to testify here today, Dr. Welch?
WELCH:  No, it`s not.
PEAD:  Sounds like the investigators shared some facts with you about their investigation.  Did that in anyway influence what you remember about your meeting with Michele MacNeill on March 29th, 2007?
PEAD:  Are you telling the truth today?
WELCH:  Yes.
PEAD:  Thank you.
PULLAN:  Do you have questions for Dr. Welch?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  MacNeill was more toward reducing the medications of the patients from (inaudible).
PULLAN:  Thank you.
May Dr. Welch be released from his trial subpoena?
PEAD:  I wonder if we could treat him the same way as Dr. Thompson unless we contact him.
PULLAN:  Very good.  Dr. Welch, you will remain under subpoena.  If you are needed, you will be called to come back, but you may step down today.
WELCH:  Thank you.
PULLAN:  Thank you very much.
Should we recess for today then, counsel?  Great.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience.
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Wow.  What a blockbuster opening day of the MacNeill case.  My gosh, the first two witnesses, both doctors.  First they make a very good point for the prosecution, then this very sly defense attorney, Randy Spencer with a big smile on his face, grabs all sorts of documents and pokes holes and shows contradictions.  And then questions their memory.
Is that going to have an impact on the jury?  Or are they going to see that for the game that it might be, and believe the prosecution`s story?  You know the defense calls all of this a fable and says basically, she died of heart disease.  The prosecution says she was murdered by her husband.
More on the other side.
VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Up next, Nancy Grace in Utah tonight.  She was in the courtroom and she has blockbuster, as she would say, bombshell new information.  And that is up next.