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Showing posts from October, 2013

Jodi Arias Settlement Hearing - NO DEAL!

Jodi Arias and her defense team met with prosecutor Juan Martinez and retired Superior Court Judge James Keppel on October 24, 2013 for the mysterious settlement conference.  No progress or deals were reached during the conference, and Judge Keppel assigned the case back to Judge Sherry Stephens for resolution.  And so it appears that Arias will be heading back into court for the highly anticipated penalty phase retrial she's been hoping to avoid since her the first one ended in a mistrial.

Here we go again! Judge Sherry Stephens has had numerous motions that have been on the table for months that she has yet to rule on - let's hope she does so at the next scheduled hearing on November 1, 2013 so we can begin the jury selection process!  We can bet that once the motions on change of venue, cameras in the courtroom, juror social media account disclosure etc. have been ruled on - the jury selection process will be lengthy.  I've been saying this all along, but it looks like A…

Arias' Online Ventures - What's Wrong With Our System?

I can sense that some people aren't going to agree with what I'm about to say, but what the heck - that's never stopped me from speaking my mind before.  As we watch and wait for Jodi Arias' punishment to be determined for the murder of Travis Alexander, her attorneys continue to battle the State of Arizona over trial coverage, juror social media accounts, which venue the re-trial will be held in and a few other pending motions, it appears the convicted murderer has been busy updating her "Jodi's Book Club" website and putting up new "artwork" for sale.  Her most current piece is "Sailing at Sunset" and is listed for a whopping $1,500.00 (last time I looked) and depicts a sailboat done in watercolors.  According to a recent tweet, Arias announced "100 limited edition prints of "Sailing at Sunset" are now available at jodiarias.com/#!currentlyoffered". The limited editions are priced at $39.00 each, so if she sold al…

Cast of Characters Expected For Martin MacNeill Murder Trial

Martin MacNeill's long awaited murder trial is slated to begin on October 15, 2013 in Provo, Utah. Prosecutors and family members have long suspected that MacNeill was responsible for drugging and drowning his former wife, 50 year old Michele in their Pleasant Grove Utah bathtub, and finally - MacNeill was arrested and charged after being released from serving time in a Federal Prison for a slew of white collar crimes including fraud, writing phony checks, identity theft to name a few.

The witness list includes a cast of characters straight out of a bad romance or crime novel. Here's a partial list of names we can expect to become familiar during the estimated 5 week long trial:

Michele MacNeill:  the victim of murder, although a judge has ruled she cannot be referred to as the victim at trial. 50 years old at the time of her death, Michele was a devoted mother, a former beauty queen who certainly did not need to undergo the face lift her husband Martin pushed her to have. Miche…

A Look Into Jodi Arias' 2011 "Settlement Conference Memorandum"

As the October 4, 2013 status hearing for convicted (but unsentenced) murderer Jodi Arias has come and gone without any real progress made, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the "Settlement Conference Memorandum" filed by the Arias defense in July of 2011. To me, it reads like thinly veiled threats to destroy Travis Alexander's reputation if she were taken to trial. The document makes many assumptions on how the jury will view the evidence, and calls into question if a guilty verdict on first degree murder is even possible.

This probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone following this case. Although this document has been around for quite some time, it's interesting to look back on these issues a few years later - given we know more about what happened, and what Arias said happened. I am going to post the link to the full court document, which I located on grahamwinch.files.wordpress. Before I get caught up in writing this post and forget to …

Jodi Arias Status Hearing Full of Irony, But No Rulings

Jodi Arias and her attorneys returned to the Maricopa County Superior Court yesterday for a status hearing relating to her penalty phase retrial.  The proceedings were not televised. I didn't expect to learn much during this trial, as we have come to expect nothing in the form of decisions or hard dates. Rather, the proceedings seem to move further and further on out into the future. Yesterday's hearing seemed to be more of the same.

I think most of us who have followed this story and the trial found the arguments made by the defense laughable and hypocritical. The defense is asking Judge Stephens to ban live television coverage in the courtroom for the retrial. CNN and other networks are crying foul. In fact, CNN attorney David Bodney addressed the judge, saying "she (Arias) has voluntarily thrust herself into the vortex of this public controversy, it's unfair to deprive the public because someone can't control her own speech".

The defense is still arguing for…

Cold Justice Investigates 1998 Murder of Eric Baxter

The more episodes of TNT's Cold Justice I watch, the more I really love this show. In the last episode, former Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler, former Las Vegas CSI Yolanda McCleary and retired Houston detective Alan Brown traveled to Dickson County Tennessee to look into the August 20, 1998 shooting death of Eric Baxter.

Eric Baxter and his mother Joy owned and operated several local convenience stores. By all accounts they were happy and successful, Eric had no known enemies. Eric's body was discovered by his mother in the hallway of their home on Jones Creek Road. The home was somewhat remote, with lots of open space in front of and in back of the house. The house had glass french doors that opened to a patio in the back yard - which backed up to a large open field that wouldn't have been difficult to enter.  Paved roads near the property made for an ideal parking spot for the killer to hide his/her car and sneak up to the back of the property undetected. The Baxter's…

Jodi Arias Back In Court Today - Will Re Trial Move Forward?

Today is October 4, 2013 - and it was supposed to be the next court appearance for Jodi Arias and her defense team in the seemingly endless legal limbo since a jury found her guilty of first degree murder on May 8, 2013. It's hard to fathom how sentencing a convicted murderer could be delayed for this many months, when her defense should have been ready to go within days of the mistrial in late May.


Arias is expected to be back in court today, but it's doubtful we will learn anything meaningful about if or when her sentencing retrial will move forward. Since the last delay back in mid September, it has been reported that a settlement conference between prosecutor Juan Martinez and Kirk Nurmi, Jennifer Willmott and Jodi Arias has been scheduled for October 24, 2013. Is this something that is routinely done in cases where a mistrial has been declared in the sentencing phase, after a defendant has already been found guilty? I wouldn't call anything that has happened with this …

The State of Utah vs. Dr. Martin MacNeill

Dr. Martin MacNeill's murder trial is set to begin on October 15, 2013 in Salt Lake City Utah. The trial is expected to be televised, although it is not clear if coverage will be local or national.  Court documents on HLN's website give us a peek into the state's case against the bad doctor, who also happens to hold a law degree.

In a court document filed on August 24, 2012, the state alleges that Martin MacNeill administered a lethal cocktail of drugs to his wife - enough drugs to render her unable to move about or function on her own, and then he drowned her in the bathtub of their Pleasant Grove, Utah home.  Michele MacNeill had underwent cosmetic surgery approximately a week prior to her death. The state alleges Martin MacNeill used the drugs prescribed by the surgeon (at his suggestion) to drug his wife.  According to many people who had contact with Michele after her surgery, she was recovering well and functioning on her own. She did not need the prescription painkil…

Martin MacNeill Murder Trial Date Nears

It is expected to last 4-5 weeks, yet the sordid and strange life of Dr. Martin MacNeill should play out like a bad made for TV movie: a mistress named "Gypsy", witnesses referred to as "Inmate #1 and "Inmate #2" and a life so twisted it's hard to believe this is real. Utah vs. Martin MacNeill has been a long time in the making. This is a story so strange and so disturbing.

Martin MacNeill is charged with murder, a first degree felony and obstruction of justice, a second degree felony in the death of his 50 year old wife Michele on April 11, 2007. The pre-trial motions have been filed fast and furiously. The defense motion to not allow Michele to be referred to as the "victim" was granted by the trial judge. Two prosecution witnesses will be referred to only as Inmate #1 and Inmate #2 and will not be photographed during the trial to protect their identities - they both served time with the bad doctor in federal prison. Everybody knows snitches are…

The Strange Life of Suspected Wife Killer Martin MacNeill

Martin MacNeill is scheduled to go on trial for the murder of his wife Michele on October 15, 2013. Looking into the background of the case, and the background of this defendant left me completely dumbfounded. Dr. Martin MacNeill's personal and family history are the strangest and most disturbing I've ever come across. I started reading about MacNeill because I wanted to become familiar with the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife Michele, but the information I found went far beyond his wife's death. Martin MacNeill is either the unluckiest man on the planet, or he is a cold blooded killer.




On April 11, 2007 Michele MacNeill was found unresponsive in the bathtub of her home in Pleasant Grove, Utah. At the urging of her husband Dr. Martin MacNeill, Michele underwent plastic surgery and at the time of her death she was recovering from the routine face lift she had eight days prior.  According to MacNeill's recorded 911 call, he walked into the bathroom and his…