Wednesday, November 22, 2017
News Roundup

Lawyer: Doctor said he was glad wife was dead

RECOMMENDED READING


PROVO, Utah — A former doctor accused of hounding his wife to get a face-lift so he could kill her with a lethal combination of prescription drugs acted erratically the day she died and claimed she had wanted the surgery, prosecutors said Thursday in opening statements at the murder trial.

In addition, Martin MacNeill told fellow inmates after his arrest that his wife was a "b----," he was glad she was dead; and authorities couldn't prove he killed her, prosecutor Sam Pead told jurors.

Prosecutors have said the killing was the climax of a twisted plot by MacNeill to carry on an affair with his mistress, who MacNeill invited to his wife's funeral and asked to marry him weeks later.

The case has shocked the Mormon community of Provo, 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, and captured national attention because the defendant was a doctor.

Pead depicted a scene of bizarre behavior that began when MacNeill discovered his listless wife in a bathtub and called authorities to his house in April 2007.

" 'Why did she have the surgery?' " Martin MacNeill yelled in front of police and paramedics, according to Pead. " 'Why did she take all of those medications? I told her not to do it. I'm a doctor. She's dead. I've been a bishop. I pay tithing, and this is the way you repay me?' "

MacNeill was referring to his former leadership position in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also had been clinical director at the Utah State Hospital but has surrendered his medical license.

Defense attorneys told jurors Michele MacNeill died from heart disease, not from anything Martin MacNeill had done.

MacNeill, 57, was charged in August 2012, nearly five years after his former beauty queen wife was found in the couple's Pleasant Grove home.

Prosecutors said they will try to prove MacNeill got a plastic surgeon to prescribe a powerful set of neurological drugs for her recovery.

The surgeon, Dr. Scott Thomson, testified Thursday that he would not normally prescribe Valium or Oxycodone, among other painkillers and sleeping pills, for recovery, but did so "because Martin was a physician and he asked me for these things."

Medical examiners couldn't determine how 50-year-old Michele MacNeill died. The uncertainty was one reason it took so long to prosecute Martin MacNeill on the murder charge.

The MacNeills had eight children, and their oldest daughters have been outspoken in their belief that their father killed their mother.

The trial before 4th District Court Judge Derek Pullan is expected to last six weeks.

Comments
Nikita Kucherov really does admire Patrick Kane

Nikita Kucherov really does admire Patrick Kane

TAMPA - Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov has watched plenty of film on Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.Kucherov marveled how the former league MVP uses deception to "hide" from defenders. He noticed how patient Kane was with the puck, how well he ...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Tampa husband gets life, wife 40 years for sexual assault on 7-year-old

Tampa husband gets life, wife 40 years for sexual assault on 7-year-old

TAMPA — The mother of a 7-year-old girl stood weeping in a federal courtroom, demanding life-long prison sentences for the Tampa couple who sexually assaulted her daughter while the girl’s own father took videos and pictures. "I don’t want my child t...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Alton White, civil rights leader who loved ‘every blade of grass in Tampa,’ dies at 77

Alton White, civil rights leader who loved ‘every blade of grass in Tampa,’ dies at 77

TAMPA — Born into the civil rights movement, Alton Maurice White Sr. embraced it as his own while playing college football in Tallahassee.He brought his passion home to Tampa and for decades, played a guiding role in advancing the cause.By his count,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

ST. PETERSBURG — After six years of negotiations, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air and its flight attendant union reached a tentative contract to improve worker pay and benefits and solidify airline policies."We feel like it’s an agreement that is certa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

When it comes to weighing the options for regulating medical marijuana through the law passed this year, Dunedin city commissioners declared local governments face a "conundrum" and "a false dilemma."They said they would welcome a dispensary in the c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What’s in theaters for Thanksgiving: ‘Coco,’ ‘Last Flag Flying,’ ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’

What’s in theaters for Thanksgiving: ‘Coco,’ ‘Last Flag Flying,’ ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’

NOW IN THEATERS:COCODisney-Pixar’s animated dramedy Coco (PG) is inspired by Mexico’s annual Dia de los Muertos, the "day of the dead" when departed ancestors are celebrated. Good for diversity, although the movie isn’t as good as its intentions.Migu...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Future of Hernando Beach water tower up in the air

Future of Hernando Beach water tower up in the air

HERNANDO BEACH — Perched high above the coastal neighborhood, the water tower at Hernando Beach has been a unique watchman and highly visible welcome sign for drivers and boaters although it has not held water for years.Now there is some question abo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Details emerge in suicide of Hernando school volunteer accused of sexual abuse

Details emerge in suicide of Hernando school volunteer accused of sexual abuse

A former Brooksville school volunteer accused of sexually assaulting teenage foreign exchange students who were under his care was found dead last week, a day before he was due in court on the charges.The body of Bruce McAllister was found at the bas...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco schools brought home 20 top honors from the District 11 Junior Thespian Festival, which included 22 schools from Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties and took place at the new River Ridge FAME Academy on Nov. 17 and ...
Updated: 3 hours ago