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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 (
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. Michele was allegedly preparing to divorce Martin, and told her daughter Alexis "if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn't your father". She feared her husband was preparing to kill her, she even tried to identify the pills he was giving her by feeling each one when her face was bandaged and she couldn't see well.

Martin & Michele
Martin MacNeill:  Michele's husband, and the defendant in her murder trial, charged with first degree murder and obstruction of justice. MacNeill was a physician and held a law degree, although an investigator discovered MacNeill gained entry to medical school in Mexico using falsified college transcripts. This calls into question his entire 30 year medical career. MacNeill used a phony transcript to get into a medical college in California, where he graduated after 3 years with a degree in osteopathic medicine. In 1984, he landed a residency at a New York hospital and built a 30 year career as a doctor. But don't call him "the good doctor". His resume includes a stint at BYU Health Clinic, but a complaint from a former patient caused him to resign from that position. Was this one of the several alleged sexually inappropriate relationships he had with female patients? Investigator Doug Witney also uncovered more dirt on MacNeill, after the fake credentials came to light. He found that MacNeill served in the US Army for less than 2 years in the mid 1970's before being discharged for a psychiatric disorder. Martin MacNeill collected more than $100,000 in disability payments from the Veterans Administration. At the time of that discovery, MacNeill was collected around $3,000 per month from the VA! His record of white collar crimes dates back to the 1970's. In 1977, he was on felony probation for 3 years for writing phony checks in California.  Prosecutors and Michelle's family believe Martin MacNeill arranged for his wife's plastic surgery in order to obtain a lethal cocktail of powerful pain medications and sedatives which he used to drug her and drown her in the bathtub.

Gypsy Willis
Gypsy Willis:  Former mistress to Martin MacNeill, she moved into the MacNeill home weeks after Michelle's death and became the children's "nanny". A former roommate of Willis told investigators that Willis once said she wanted to cut Michele MacNeill's brakes.  She did time in Federal Prison for stealing the identity of one of MacNeill's adopted children!

Alexis Somers
Alexis Somers: One of the MacNeill's oldest children, 29 year old Alexis has long believed her father killed her mother. As an outspoken woman who questioned her father from the start, she was "banned" from the family after Martin decided he no longer wanted her speaking to her siblings, because she stood firmly against her father. Alexis and sister Rachel would team up with Michele's sister Linda Cluff to begin building a "file" against Martin MacNeill. They would later present their findings to the Utah County Attorney's office, where investigator Doug Witney agreed to review the file and the official reports. Witney is the one who discovered MacNeill used somebody elses transcripts to gain entry to two colleges, including a medical school in Mexico Alexis was at her mother's side in the days following her face lift procedure, and began questioning her father when it was clear her mother was being over medicated and appeared "listless".  Alexis had to return to Las Vegas on April 10, 2007 where she was attending medical school. Just a day later, her she received the call that her mother was dead. She immediately suspected her father had killed her mother.

Doug Witney: Investigator with the Utah County Attorney's office, Witney is the one person who agreed to take another look into Michelle's death and the file compiled by Alexis, Rachel and Linda Cliff. He uncovered many skeletons in the "doctor's" closet.

Linda Cluff:   Michele MacNeill's sister, who joined forces with her nieces to get the goods on Martin MacNeill and find justice for her sister Michele.

Rachel MacNeill
Rachel MacNeill:  The oldest of the MacNeill children, now 33 years old. Rachel was taken to a Mormon Temple with her father to "pray" for a nanny, when out of nowhere Gypsy Willis appeared. She would move in and become the nanny just weeks after Michele's death. What kind of scumbag father would do this to his own daughter? 

The MacNeill Family
Damian MacNeill:  Martin & Michele's only biological son, Martin had Damian and his girlfriend remove and dispose of evidence relating to his mother's death. MacNeill asked his son to remove all of Michele's medications following her death, and Damian complied. In January of 2010, Damian MacNeill is believed to have committed suicide by taking an overdose of prescription medications. Anybody sensing a dark theme in the MacNeill family yet??

Rufus "Roy" MacNeill:  Older brother to Martin MacNeill, Roy was found dead in the family's New Jersey home - an apparent suicide. Several of Martin's former girlfriends told investigators that Martin MacNeill confessed to killing Roy after he found him in the bathtub with both wrists slit - he allegedly drown his brother because he felt suicide was a family embarrassment. Although investigators have confirmed Roy MacNeills' death, it is not known if Martin was involved.

Randall Spencer & Susanne Gustin:  Martin MacNeill's defense attorneys; they filed a successful motion to disqualify Judge Samuel MacKay, and have filed motions that prosecutors withheld evidence they were entitled to (prosecutorial misconduct) and fought to have the murder charge dismissed. That motion was denied.

Chad Gruander & Sam Pead - Utah County Attorney's Office, says their office was "sideswiped" by the defense's motion that the Utah County Attorney's office be disqualified from prosecuting the case against Martin MacNeill for withholding evidence, including information that the County Attorney's office informed Damian MacNeill's law school that he was believed to be "a dangerous" individual, among other allegations. Gruander said that his office hand delivered a letter to the defense inviting them to come to their office and review any and all evidence. The defense motion claims a thumb drive was given to the defense by one of the state's own witnesses in the case.

Judge Samuel V. MacKay - the first judge assigned to the case, he was later disqualified from the case as a result of motions filed by the defense.

Judge Derek Pullan - the new judge assigned to the MacNeill case, after Judge MacKay was disqualified.

Dr. Todd Grey:  A medical examiner who testified during a preliminary hearing that he was surprised the State was filing murder charges because he didn't believe there was enough evidence to support the finding. The State has filed a Motion to preclude his testimony. Prosecutor Sam Pead argued that Grey is not a legal expert, and it is inappropriate for him to speculate to a jury during a trial. The judge found that Grey could testify, but not about the prosecution of the case.

Michelle Savage & Brandi Smith:  Both women testified at the preliminary hearing that they overheard Gypsy Willis talking about wanting to sever the brakes on her boyfriend's wife's car.

Inmate #1 and Inmate #2:  Expected to be key witnesses for the prosecution, the judge ruled these witnesses identities will remain secret to protect them from retaliation in federal prison where both are serving time - and served time with Martin MacNeill. Cameras will not be allowed to record their faces and their names will not be disclosed during the trial.

I will be adding to this list and updating the information as the trial unfolds. This case has so many scandal-like stories tied to it, it could fill 10 blog entries just to get up-to-date. 


  1. I love reading My Crime Time you give out interesting facts and opinions. What do you think of the MacNeill trial? I hope you will have commentary about this trial.

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