Posts Tagged ‘Court’

Attorneys for Martin MacNeill want his murder charge thrown out

Posted in The MacNeill Story on January 7th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

By , Deseret News
Published: Monday, Dec. 17 2012 1:20 p.m. MST

ROVO — Attorneys for a Pleasant Grove doctor charged with murdering his wife filed a motion Monday to dismiss the case.

In the motion, attorneys for Martin MacNeill ask for either a dismissal of the charges against their client or the disqualification of the Utah County Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case. They allege that prosecutors and investigators with the Utah County Attorney’s Office kept them from more than 1,000 pages of information — some of it “explosive” — that they believe points to their client’s innocence.

MacNeill, 56, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, a first-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, in the April 11, 2007, death of his wife, Michele MacNeill, 50. He was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in October. A five-week trial is scheduled to begin March 5, 2013.

MacNeill’s attorneys argue that the case has been “irreparably compromised” because of evidence they say they asked for and never received, including information about the MacNeills’ son, Damian. read more »

About this ad Evidence to be presented next month against doctor charged with killing wife

Posted in The MacNeill Story on October 2nd, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

PROVO — Prosecutors expect to call as many as two dozen witnesses at a hearing next month to determine whether a Pleasant Grove doctor should stand trial in the death of  his wife.

“There will be a lot of evidence in this case,” assistant Utah County attorney Chad Grunander said Tuesday. “It is a complex case.”

Fourth District Judge Samuel D. McVey scheduled a five-day preliminary hearing to start Oct. 5 and then resume Oct. 9-12.

Martin MacNeill, 56, is accused of giving his wife, Michele, a dangerous combination of drugs and drowning her in the bathtub of their upscale home in April 2007. He is charged with murder and obstruction of justice.

He appeared in court Tuesday handcuffed and shackled and wearing a blue jail jumpsuit. Two of his daughters and other relatives sat on the front row but did not hold up photos of Michele MacNeill as they did during a previous court hearing. read more »

Doctor accused of murder gets preliminary hearing date

Posted in The MacNeill Story on October 2nd, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

People Magazine – Fake Attorney-Physician Arrested in Wife’s Murder in Utah

Posted in The MacNeill Story on October 2nd, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

The words, spoken as her mother was recovering at home from a facelift surgery, still haunt Alexis Somers.

“In case anything happens to me,” Michele MacNeill, 50, told her daughter, “make sure it wasn’t your dad.”

Days later, Michele, a homemaker, was found lifeless by another daughter, Ada, then 6, in a bathtub in their upscale Pleasant Grove, Utah, home.

When the medical examiner concluded that her April 2007 death was due to natural causes, local police never opened a criminal investigation. Horrified, older daughters Alexis, 29, and Rachel, 32, frantically insisted to anyone who would listen that their mother’s suspicions rang true and that their father, a prominent doctor-lawyer, should be investigated. read more »

FOX News Utah County doctor in court, accused of killing wife

Posted in The MacNeill Story on August 28th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment


PROVO — A Pleasant Grove doctor facing murder charges related to the death of his wife five years ago appeared in court Monday.

Martin MacNeill, who is accused of drugging his wife, gave his daughters only an occasional glance in the courtroom as they held photos of their late mother Michelle MacNeill.

An initial autopsy concluded that she died of natural causes. But investigators later changed it to undetermined, saying new information raised suspicion of Michelle’s death.

MacNeill’s daughters, Alexis Somers and Rachel MacNeill, spoke with FOX 13 and said they believe their father is guilty of murder.

“We are relieved that our mother is getting some justice,” said Somers.

Full FOX News Article

Family members stare down Pleasant Grove doctor charged with murdering wife

Posted in The MacNeill Story on August 28th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

PROVO — What promises to be a prolonged courtroom drama about whether a Pleasant Grove doctor gave his wife a lethal combination of drugs more than five years ago started Monday with an attempt to stare him down.

Martin Joseph MacNeill’s two daughters, sister-in-law and two nieces kept their eyes trained on him and held up pictures of Michele MacNeill from their seats on the second row.

“We’re on your side, but let’s not let it get out of hand, OK?” a 4th District Court bailiff admonished the women before the hearing.

MacNeill, 56, didn’t appear to acknowledge them.

“He saw us. He did,” MacNeill’s daughter Alexis Somers said afterward.

“We want people to remember our mother,” she said. “And we want people to know that she lived and that she deserves justice.”

MacNeill, 56, waived a reading of the murder and obstruction of justice charges against him. Other than quietly conferring with his attorney, MacNeill said nothing in court. Judge Samuel D. McVey scheduled the next hearing for Sept. 4.

Full Article

Utah Doctor Accused of Drowning Wife Appears in Court

Posted in The MacNeill Story on August 28th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

 By  (@LinseyDavis)

Aug. 28, 2012

The Utah doctor accused of killing his wife made his first court appearance Monday and came face-to-face with his daughters, who say they believe their father had a plan to kill their mother.

Martin MacNeill, 56, was formally charged in the death of his wife, Michele, in April 2007. MacNeill has been held on $1 million bond at Utah County jail since Friday, and is due to return Sept. 4 to choose an arraignment or an evidentiary hearing.

Full Article on Good Morning America

Gypsy Willis sentenced to 3 years of probation

Posted in The MacNeill Story on May 24th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment
Gypsy Willis

That's Michele's Jacket! Unbelievable.

PROVO — A Pleasant Grove woman will spend the next three years on probation for stealing the identity of teenage girl.

Gypsy Willis, 34, was sentenced Tuesday to 36 months of probation for identity fraud and two counts of giving false and inconsistent statements, all second-degree felonies, and filing a wrongful lien, a third-degree felony. Willis pleaded guilty to the charges in March as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors.

In addition to probation, Willis also was sentenced to 180 days in jail, but was given credit for time served and will not actually have to spend additional time incarcerated. The judge also ordered her to pay fines and fees and to participate in a “cognitive restructuring” course. Prosecutor John Neilsen said that the course is designed to help those who commit crimes realize that their actions impact other people.

Yet another condition of Willis’s probation is that she not have any contact with the MacNeill family, which includes the victim as well as Willis’s former boyfriend, Pleasant Grove doctor Martin MacNeill.

According to prosecutors, Willis’s charges were the result of efforts between MacNeill and Willis to alter Willis’s identity. They reportedly tried to steal the identity of MacNeill’s then 16-year-old adopted daughter, Giselle MacNeill, shortly after the death of MacNeill’s wife, Michele, in 2007.

Willis agreed to her sentence when she entered her pleas. On Tuesday her lawyer, John Easton, pointed out that she had no criminal history other than federal charges related to the same incidents, had a low risk for re-offense, and had been compliant with the terms of her parole from federal prison.

But family members of the victim expressed alarm at Willis’s release and sentence. Linda Cluff, Giselle’s guardian, said that Giselle’s credit has been ruined by the identity theft. Cluff said that Giselle now is required to bring documents with her wherever she goes to prove she is not Willis, and has lost an apartment because of the confusion caused by the crime.

“Anywhere she goes she’s affected,” Cluff said. “It’s an ongoing struggle.”

MacNeill’s daughter Alexis Somers went further, saying that Willis’s sentence freed a woman who had colluded with her father to kill her mother.

“We feel a murderer just walked out the doors,” Somers said after Tuesday’s hearing.

Somers and other MacNeill family members have worked for years to prove that their father was behind the death of their mother. Though no murder charges have been brought against MacNeill or Willis, court documents filed last month reveal that investigators believe MacNeill had the motive and ability to kill his wife. Willis and MacNeill reportedly were having an affair before Michele MacNeill’s death, and the documents reveal that Willis expressed a desire to kill her. The documents also indicate that MacNeill may have killed his brother, as well as patients at the state Developmental Center in American Fork, where he was clinical director.

Neilsen said Tuesday that as part of Willis’s plea bargain she could be required to testify against MacNeill, should he ever face charges for the death of his wife.

Original Article: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_7ab854a3-28c8-5b5f-9679-1def8e3d049c.html

Girlfriend of ex-Pleasant Grove doctor sentenced to probation; murder charge still pending

Posted in The MacNeill Story on May 19th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Sara Lenz, Deseret News

PROVO — They sat in opposite corners of the courtroom on Tuesday.

Gypsy Willis, the girlfriend of Martin MacNeill, sat in the back right of Provo’s 4th District court, her red hair pulled back in a bun, a blue blazer on. Alexis Somers, MacNeill’s daughter, and Linda Cluff, MacNeill’s sister-in-law, sat in the front right.

It may have been the last time the three women would be in the same room together in the next three years unless murder charges are filed against MacNeill, a former Pleasant Grove doctor and attorney who investigators say had the “opportunity, the motive, the psychological disposition and the capability of killing his wife,” Michele, in April 2007, according to court documents.

Willis, 34, was sentenced Tuesday to 36 months of probation after pleading guilty in March to helping steal the identity of MacNeill’s adopted daughter, Giselle, in 2007, shortly after his wife died. In exchange for not having to serve any additional jail time, she will also be required to testify in court if murder charges are filed against MacNeill.

Willis already served a 21-month sentence in a Texas federal prison for separate federal charges stemming from the ID theft and will serve her probation term in Utah.

Willis was also ordered to have no contact with MacNeill or his extended family during the time of her probation, not go near the former MacNeill home and to attend a cognitive restructuring course. Prosecutor John Neilsen said the course should help her realize the impact of her decisions on others.

Cluff, who is also Giselle MacNeill’s adopted mother, said Giselle, now 20, has recently had trouble opening a bank account and getting her driver’s permit because of the identity theft. She also was kicked out of her apartment because of Willis’ name being tied to her and Willis’ bad credit.

“The nightmare continues for her,” Cluff said after the sentence hearing on Tuesday. “It’s an ongoing struggle. She is being challenged constantly to prove she is who she is.”

Utah County investigators say MacNeill, a father of eight, had been dating Willis for three years prior to his wife’s death and then brought her to his home as a nanny a couple weeks after.

A few months after the death, Willis and MacNeill stole Giselle’s identity, who was 16 at the time. Investigators say MacNeill sent his adopted daughter back to the Ukraine “and left (her) there to fend for herself” in the summer following his wife’s death. Giselle was planning on visiting her biological sister there for a short time, but federal prosecutors said MacNeill had no plans of having her return.

MacNeill is currently serving time in federal prison for stealing his daughter’s identity and is set to be released in July 2012.

Meanwhile, Utah County investigators should be ready to hand over their homicide investigation of Michele MacNeill within the next month to the Utah County attorney for possible charges, said prosecutor Chad Grunander, who has been assigned to review the case.

Grunander said once he gets the case, one of three things will happen: they could ask investigators to do additional research, deny the case because there is not enough evidence to support a homicide charge, or accept the case and charge MacNeill.

Grunander has another homicide case going to trial in the middle of June, so he said a decision about whether or not to charge MacNeill will probably not be made until at least July.

He said he was not sure if any additional charges will be filed against Willis in connection with Michele MacNeill’s death. Willis’ attorney, John Easton, does not expect any additional charges to be filed against his client.

MacNeill’s family members, though, believe Willis was involved, calling her “calculating.”

“She was involved in my mom’s murder,” Alexis Somers said after the sentencing on Tuesday. “I know she has valuable information. I feel that a murderer just walked out the doors.”

E-mail: slenz@desnews.com

Original Article:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705372864/Girlfriend-of-ex-Pleasant-Grove-doctor-sentenced-to-probation-murder-charge-still-pending.html?pg=1

Warrant reveals PG doctor suspected of murder

Posted in The MacNeill Story on April 30th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Warrant reveals PG doctor suspected of murder

PROVO — Officials now believe a Pleasant Grove physician may have killed his wife, and have also uncovered evidence that he claimed to have killed other… Read Article on The Daily Herald.

Investigators suspect Pleasant Grove doctor killed wife

Posted in The MacNeill Story on April 30th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

PLEASANT GROVE — New information has led authorities to reopen an investigation into the death of a Utah woman and a search warrant shows authorities suspect her husband, a once-prominent doctor and lawyer, gave her a lethal combination of drugs days after she underwent surgery. Read Full Article on The Daily Herald.

Girlfriend of Pleasant Grove man being investigated in his wife’s death released from jail

Posted in The MacNeill Story on March 18th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Sara Lenz – Deseret News

PROVO — With disappointment, Alexis Somers and Rachel MacNeill watched as the woman they believe helped kill their mom was ordered to be released from jail during a court hearing Tuesday.

Gypsy Willis pleaded guilty in Provo’s 4th District Court to one count of identity fraud, two counts of false and inconsistent material statements and one count of wrongful lien in connection with helping steal the identity of Giselle MacNeill, the adopted daughter of her boyfriend Martin MacNeill, Somers’ and Rachel MacNeill’s father.

Willis entered into a plea deal Tuesday in which she agreed to plead guilty to all charges and to testify honestly in court if any murder charges are filed against Martin MacNeill in the future. In exchange, the Utah County Attorney’s Office has agreed not to seek additional jail time when she is sentenced at the end of next month.

Her attorney, John Easton, and prosecutor John Nielson said they agreed to recommend that Willis be given three years of probation and a no contact order with Martin MacNeill and his extended family. Many of Martin MacNeill’s children and relatives believe he killed his wife Michele in April 2007.

“We are completely horrified she’s out on the streets now,” Rachel MacNeill said after Willis’ hearing. “I’m very fearful for our family and our sisters. I’m afraid she will hurt and destroy other people as well.”

Willis, 34, just finished her 21-month federal prison sentence for aggravated identity theft this week. And Martin MacNeill, a Pleasant Grove doctor, attorney and father of eight, is currently serving a four-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting in aggravated identity theft in August 2009. He is set to be released July 8, 2012.

Investigators say Willis and MacNeill’s relationship had been “heating up” prior to his wife’s suspicious death. Just weeks after her death, Willis moved into the MacNeill home as the nanny.

Investigators say MacNeill and Willis then began altering Willis’ identity, obtaining false military IDs, a Utah state ID card, and opening numerous bank accounts under the false name and identity. Jeff Robinson, Utah County investigator, said Willis had bad credit and the two were planning on starting a new life together.

They used the identity of his 16-year-old adopted daughter, Giselle — a daughter investigators say he had “flown to the Ukraine and left there to fend for herself” in the summer following his wife’s death. Giselle, who is from Ukraine, was planning on visiting her sister there for a short time, but federal prosecutors said there was no plan of having her return.

Before Willis signed her plea deal on Tuesday, MacNeill’s attorney, Randy Spencer, looked over it.

Easton said that he doesn’t believe murder charges would be filed against Martin MacNeill. He said he has read Willis’ interrogation with Utah County investigators and believes there are no implications his client was involved in Michele MacNeill’s death.

At one point, Somers said she had heard Willis was planning to move back into home of Somers’ mother and father after she was released, and this thought horrified her. She and her sisters still have things in the home they haven’t been able to get because it is currently in probate.

“My little sister Ada still asks, ‘When can I get my little dolls and my princess bed?’ ” said Somers, who has taken custody of three of her adopted sisters.

But the judge noted that Willis is not to go to the Pleasant Grove home where she lived with MacNeill and his children for several months in 2007.

Easton said he expects Willis will stay with family and friends and then find her own home, although he said he was not sure whether she has to stay in Utah or not, adding that with the no contact order with Martin MacNeill and his family, he sees “positive things in Gypsy’s future.”

“I think everyone should feel some satisfaction out of (the plea deal),” Easton said.

But family members of MacNeill who were in court Tuesday were clearly unhappy that Willis is out of jail. And Somers believes her dad and Willis have been in contact since being sentenced to prison.

Willis’ roommates told investigators Willis had threatened to cut the brake lines of their mom’s car or poison her before her death and even stole a picture of her from the house, according to court documents.

Prosecutors are still investigating Michele MacNeill’s death and have indicated they may file murder charges against him.

“This is not what we wanted,” Rachel MacNeill said of the court proceedings Tuesday. “We wanted Gypsy to stay in jail, and now she’s out and she’s a threat. I just want the world safe from these monsters.”

Original Article:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700118831/Girlfriend-of-Pleasant-Grove-man-being-investigated-in-his-wifes-death-released-from-jail.html?pg=2

Martin MacNeill’s girlfriend may get a plea deal

Posted in The MacNeill Story on March 4th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

PROVO — A plea deal may be in the works for the girlfriend of former Pleasant Grove doctor and attorney Martin MacNeill, who is accused of killing his wife.

Gypsy Willis, who is being charged with one count of identity fraud, two counts of false and inconsistent material statements and one count of wrongful lien in connection with stealing MacNeill’s adopted daughter’s identity, appeared in Provo’s 4th District Court Tuesday for a waiver hearing.

The hearing was delayed until March 15, but her attorney, John Easton, told the judge he has talked with prosecuting attorneys and Utah County investigators and believes they are close to a resolution.

When asked about the possibility of a plea deal, Martin MacNeill’s family members, who were in court Tuesday, said they just hope it wouldn’t mean Willis is out on the streets soon.

“I feel she needs to stay in jail,” said Alexis Somers, Martin MacNeill’s daughter. “She is a danger. If she’s out, I will constantly be looking over my shoulder.”

Somers and Rachel MacNeill, Martin MacNeill’s oldest daughter, believe Willis was also involved in their mom’s suspicious death in 2007.

MacNeill, 54, and Willis, 34, began dating a few years before his wife’s death, that was first ruled “natural” and later changed to “undetermined” and “suspicious.” Investigators say Willis and MacNeill’s relationship had been “heating up” prior to Michele MacNeill’s death. Willis’ two roommates told investigators Willis even talked to them about poisoning MacNeill’s wife or cutting the brake lines of her car prior to her death.

Willis, who had a big grin on her face as she talked to her attorney in court, is currently finishing out her 21-month sentence for federal charges of aiding and abetting in aggravated identity theft. Her release date is March 12. Her lawyer also filed a motion to address bail at Willis’ next hearing.

Original Article:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700114693/Martin-MacNeills-girlfriend-may-get-a-plea-deal.html

e-mail: slenz@desnews.com

Martin MacNeill’s girlfriend faces identity fraud charge

Posted in The MacNeill Story on February 17th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Ravell Call, Deseret News: Gypsy Willis, former girlfriend of Martin MacNeill, listens to her attorney, John Easton

PROVO — The girlfriend of a man suspected of killing his wife was in court Tuesday on charges of working with him to steal his daughter’s identity.

Gypsy Willis, aka Giselle Jillian MacNeill, is currently serving a 21-month sentence for federal charges of aiding and abetting in aggravated identity theft and made her initial appearance for her district charges Tuesday. She was charged in December 2009 in 4th Provo’s District Court with one count of identity fraud, two counts of false and inconsistent material statements and one count of wrongful lien.

She set a waiver hearing March 1 where a preliminary hearing will be set or she will waive her preliminary hearing. Willis will be serving her last few weeks of her federal sentence in the Utah County jail.

The 34-year-old had been dating Martin MacNeill, a Pleasant Grove doctor and attorney, for several years before moving in with him and his family as a nanny just weeks after his wife’s suspicious death in April 2007.

Right after his wife, Michele, died, prosecutors say MacNeill and Willis began altering Willis’ identity, obtaining false military IDs, a Utah state ID card, and opening numerous bank accounts under the false name and identity.

They used the identity of his 16-year-old adopted daughter, Giselle — a daughter investigators say he had “flown to the Ukraine and left there to fend for herself” in the summer following his wife’s death.

MacNeill’s daughter, Alexis Somers, and Michele MacNeill’s sister, Linda Cluff, were both in the courtroom for Willis’ case.

“It was really hard,” Cluff said of being in the same room as Willis. “The fact that she just glares at you and then smiles — it’s just hard to see someone who destroyed our family’s lives.”

According to investigators MacNeill and Willis’ relationship had been “heating up” prior to Michele MacNeill’s death. Her two roommates told investigators Willis even talked to them about poisoning MacNeill’s wife or cutting the brake lines of her car.

“I am just scared she is going to get off,” Somers said of her father’s girlfriend, who she suspects is still in communication with her dad. “She is a threat. I am concerned for my safety, my family’s safety and my little sisters’ safety.”

Family members expect murder charges to be filed against MacNeill next month.

By Sara Lenz, Deseret News

Original Article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700110480/Martin-MacNeills-girlfriend-faces-identity-fraud-charge.html