Prosecutors hear 911 calls in MacNeill murder case

Jim Dalrymple – Daily Herald

PROVO — Midway through the first afternoon of Martin MacNeill’s murder hearing on Wednesday prosecutors played a recording of the 911 call he made on April 11, 2007. In the call, MacNeill can be heard screaming almost unintelligibly that his wife had “fallen in the bathtub,” was under water and “was not breathing at all.”
Play MacNeill 911 Call

In the recording, MacNeill provides his address to the dispatcher — though prosecutors say the address he gave was incorrect — then hangs up.

The recording continued, however, and moments later began playing back a second call MacNeill made to 911 dispatchers. In several screamed responses MacNeill tells the dispatcher that he needed help and was a doctor.

“Do you know how to do CPR?” the dispatched asks in the recording.

“I’m doing it,” MacNeill screams. Then the line goes dead.

The recording depicted the moments immediately after MacNeill’s wife Michele was found unconscious by her daughter Ada. Michele never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead later that same day. Prosecutors believe MacNeill staged the death and have charged him with murder.

The recording was played after Ada herself testified. Only 6 years old at the time of her mother’s death, Ada recalled getting picked up from school by her dad and going to the bathroom to find Michele. Ada immediately ran to get MacNeill.

“I kind of pulled him along to the bathroom,” she testified.

Ada said MacNeill said to call 911 then sent her to get a neighbor.

During cross examination, defense attorneys asked Ada to draw a diagram of her home as well as her mother in the bathroom. Ada could no longer remember the home’s floor plan, but did draw an oval with a stick figure laying inside it. The drawing represented Michele lying with her head near the faucet of the bathtub.

Later Wednesday, neighbor Kristi Daniels recalled being the first person who responded to help Michele. Daniels was the neighbor Ada contacted, and she immediately rushed outside. By the time she reached the driveway she could hear MacNeill screaming.

“Help, I need some help,” Daniels recalled hearing.

When Daniels arrived, Michele was still in the bathtub. Daniels said she saw mucus coming out of Michele’s nose and said she was paler than usual, even “greenish.” Another neighbor eventually helped MacNeill lift Michele out of the bathtub, and Daniels began doing CPR compressions. Daniels said MacNeill assumed a position to give breaths to Michele, though she didn’t know if MacNeill actually breathed into Michele’s mouth.

Responding to defense questions, Daniels provided a description of MacNeill that contrasted notably from how he sounded in his 911 calls. Daniels said that while she was at the home MacNeill seemed calm and in control of the situation.

“He wasn’t freaking out to me,” she testified.

MacNeill watched most of the proceedings impassively, his shackles occasionally rattling at the defense table. Prosecutors have also charged him with obstruction of justice. His hearing is scheduled to conclude next week.

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