Utah County doctor killed wife with deadly combination of drugs, new warrant states

Published: Thursday, April 28 2011 5:00 p.m. MDT

PLEASANT GROVE — Utah County investigators believe a prominent Pleasant Grove doctor and attorney killed his wife by administering a deadly combination of drugs days after she had surgery, a new search warrant states.

The warrant, filed in 4th District Court earlier this month, reveals new information surrounding the death of Michele MacNeill and how investigators believe her husband, Martin MacNeill, had the "opportunity, the motive, the psychological disposition and the capability of killing his wife."

Martin MacNeill is currently serving a prison sentence in Texas for identity fraud. He has not been charged in his wife's death, although the case is still being actively pursued. If no additional charges are filed, he will be released from federal prison in July 2012.

When Michele MacNeill died in a bathtub at her Pleasant Grove home in 2007, an autopsy indicated she died of natural causes. But after recently working with Utah County investigators, Utah State Medical Examiner Todd Grey wrote an addendum to her autopsy saying new information "raises suspicion that the decedent did not die solely as a result of the abnormalities of her heart identified at the autopsy," the search warrant affidavit states.

Grey said a combination of medicines found in her body could have been lethal. Grey also said he questions whether the medications were forced upon her.

Her case was reopened after Michele MacNeills sisters and other family members went to authorities following her death with suspicions about Martin MacNeill, a prominent doctor and attorney.

Michele MacNeill underwent plastic surgery on April 3, 2007 — just eight days before her death. She had told her husband she wanted to wait to have the surgery, but her husband told her "that would not be possible," the affidavit states. MacNeill also told the doctor what medications to prescribe for her.

The night after she came home from her surgery, Michele MacNeill told her daughter that her husband "had her take medications throughout the night even though she began throwing up," the affidavit states. She was found the next morning unresponsive and remained in that state throughout the day.

"Martin had access to the drugs and admitted overdosing her a few days prior to her death as if he was going through a practice run," chief investigator Jeff Robinson wrote. A week later, she was dead.

The day after her surgery, Martin MacNeill exchanged 24 texts with Gypsy Willis, a woman he had been dating without his wife's knowledge for three years, the affidavit states. A couple of years prior to Michele MacNeill's surgery, investigators say Willis had talked to her roommates about cutting the brake lines of Michele MacNeill's car or giving her medication "that would kill her without being detected."

Michele MacNeill had suspicions that her husband was having an affair and began confronting him more and more, asking him why he had changed his online account password to his phone records and telling him to "be honest with her."

From April 6-10 while Michele MacNeill was recuperating, Willis and MacNeill exchanged 60 text messages, investigators reported.

On the day she died, Michele MacNeill had made plans to pick up her youngest daughter, Ada, from school and go to McDonalds with her. Instead, her father picked her up from school and drove straight home. Ada found her mother unresponsive and sitting up in the bathtub. She ran to get her dad and "reported that Martin was very slow to go with her to the bathroom," according to the affidavit.

MacNeill then called 911, telling the operator that Michele was in full cardiac arrest.

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