Doctor subject of murder investigation after release from prison

A former Pleasant Grove physician finished up a federal prison sentence earlier this month but remains the subject of a murder investigation.

Martin MacNeill was released from prison July 6, where he spent the last three years serving a three-year sentence for aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting. MacNeill pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2009. According to court documents, MacNeill was charged after he stole his daughter’s identity while she was in Ukraine.

MacNeill was formerly a clinical director of the Utah State Developmental Center in American Fork.

But while MacNeill’s release from prison essentially wraps up his federal case, he may still face state charges for killing his wife. Prosecutor Tim Taylor confirmed Thursday that MacNeill is the subject of an investigation, though authorities have not yet determined how to proceed or if any charges will be filed.

“When we look at this case there appears to be a lot of evidence that is very suspicious,” Taylor said. “But what we think is suspicious and what we can prove are two different things.”

The investigation stems from allegations that MacNeill killed his wife Michele shortly after she had plastic surgery in 2007. According to court documents filed in March 2011, MacNeill may have killed Michele with a lethal cocktail of drugs because he wanted to conceal an affair with Gypsy Willis. The documents also state that MacNeill said he wanted to kill one of his daughters, admitted to killing his brother and making it look like suicide and bragged about killing his patients. The admissions were allegedly made to a past mistress, who reportedly told her psychiatrist that she was having an affair with a serial killer.

The documents conclude that MacNeill had the “opportunity, the motive, the psychological disposition and the capability” to kill his wife.

In a previous interview, MacNeill’s daughter, Alexis Somers, expressed certainty that her father was behind her mother’s death.

Though Taylor confirmed that the investigation is ongoing, he did not provide additional details about recent developments. He also said prosecutors don’t currently have a time line for when they might file charges. Instead, he said, any charges will be filed if and when investigators gather enough evidence to prevail in court. Taylor added that MacNeill’s release from federal prison does not change prosecutors’ approach to the case.

Though MacNeill is currently free, Willis is back behind bars. In 2009, Willis was charged in Utah with four felonies for identity fraud, making false statements and having a wrongful lien. She pleaded guilty to the charges in March 2011 and was sentenced to probation.

However, on July 11 Willis was re-arrested for violating her probation. Court documents reveal that Willis violated her probation by not actually residing at her registered address in Clearfield, and by not being honest about her silver BMW. The car reportedly was given to her by MacNeill and she never registered it in her name because she owes back taxes, the documents add.

The documents recommend that Willis’s probation be restarted. Her next court date is scheduled for July 17.


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