Ex-lover testifies doctor made homicidal comments

October 04, 2012 3:20 pm  •  Jim Dalrymple – Daily Herald

PROVO — Anna Walthall was going through a messy divorce in 2005 when she turned for support to the doctor working at her laser hair removal company.

“I was going through lots of life changes and didn’t have a support system,” she said. “And Martin stepped in to help me. It turned info a sexual relationship. An affair.”

Walthall was referring to Dr. Martin MacNeill, who sat across a courtroom from her, shackled and facing a murder charge for killing his wife, Michele, in 2007 after she had plastic surgery.

Years before that alleged killing, however, Walthall recalled hearing MacNeill make a series of homicidal comments. She said shortly after her relationship with MacNeill turned sexual he told her about a time that he nearly killed his mother. According to Walthall, MacNeill didn’t have a good relationship with his mother and one day saw her passed out on a couch. He responded by going around the house, collecting all the medication he could find and putting them in a beer. Then he served it to his mother.

Walthall said Martin claimed to have seen his mother stop breathing but his sister soon came in and saved her. After hearing the story, Walthall asked MacNeill if he regretted his actions.

“He said that he regretted that there wasn’t more medication in the house,” Walthall claimed to have heard MacNeill say.

Walthall also said she heard MacNeill claim to have killed his brother. The brother was a cutter who cut himself for attention, Walthall testified, and one day MacNeill found him in a bathtub. MacNeill responded by holding his brother under the water, Walthall said.

According to Walthall, MacNeill also talked about killing Walthall’s ex-husband and claimed to have done things in his medical practice that could earn him a prison sentence. However, Walthall claimed to hear MacNeill say that he would never plead insanity if he was caught.

“He said ‘because I always know exactly what I’m doing,’” Walthall recalled MacNeill saying.

But during cross examination, defense attorneys focused on Walthall’s mental health and perceptions of reality. Responding to questions, Walthall said that she has dissociative disorder resulting from past trauma. She also said she has a “sixth sense.”

“I perceive things that others don’t necessarily,” Walthall said.

Walthall went on to say that she and Martin had practiced telepathic communication together and achieved “some success.”

“I feel like that’s a skill that can be developed,” she added.

Defense attorney Susanne Gustin later asked Walthall if she believed her family had been involved in satanic behavior. Walthall said she never “accused them of that” but did not deny having expressed opinions of that nature. Among other things, she also admitted to writing all day about MacNeill.

However, Walthall stated that her disorder, views and other factors did not impact the truthfulness of her testimony.

Following Walthall’s testimony, Dr. Scott Van Wagoner took the stand. Van Wagoner treated Michele on April 11, 2007, when she was transported to the hospital. Van Wagoner said Michele was “not doing well” when she arrived at the hospital. Van Wagoner added he believed Michele was dead on arrival at the hospital but MacNeill nevertheless offered him $10,000 to continue to attempt resuscitating Michele.

“How do I respond to that?” Van Wagoner wondered out loud. “It was very odd behavior and a very odd offer.”

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