Martin MacNeill's girlfriend may get a plea deal

Published: Wednesday, March 2 2011 12:08 a.m. MST

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.

e-mail: slenz@desnews.com

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