MacNeill daughter: Mom was upbeat, taking few meds just before she died
Man admitted over-medicating wife earlier in week, Alexis Somers says
When she returned home after the death, Somers said she went right to her parents' bedroom to look for the medications. Finding them gone, she said she asked her father about them.
“He said, ‘I don’t know, I think the police might have taken it,’” she recalled. That contradicts earlier testimony that MacNeill instructed his son and his son’s girlfriend to count out and document the remaining medications and then flush them down the toilet.
Somers, now a Utah doctor who gave birth to twins 10 days ago, also told the jury she had heard her parents arguing about whether her father was having an affair with Willis. The argument came a few days after Michele MacNeill’s surgery and Somers was listening outside her parents' bedroom door.
“He told her that she was crazy,” Somers said of her father’s reaction. “He said that’s ridiculous, that he was not having an affair.”
But the month before, Somers said her mother had confided in her concerns that he had strayed from their marriage. Together the mother and daughter used a password to access her father’s phone records and identify a phone number he had frequently called late at night.
Somers said she called the number and heard a woman’s voice on a recorded message and then used a paid Internet service to trace the number to Willis.
Weeks after her mother’s death, when MacNeill told Somers he had found “the perfect nanny” for her young sisters, she said she told him she knew about the affair with Willis.
“I told him I knew. 'You are not to bring that woman into the house,'” she testified. “He got irate. He was screaming at me, saying, 'How dare you? How dare you accuse me.’ He didn’t know that I knew.”
During cross-examination, defense attorney Randall Spencer and Somers parried back and forth over her changes in testimony with statements she made in previous hearings and in an 18-page document she produced in 2007 and gave to prosecutors in hopes of persuading them to investigate MacNeill.
Somers said she didn’t remember saying during her mother’s funeral that her mother “was feeling a little sick” in their last conversation. And she would not agree with Spencer that in 2011 she had produced a duplicate copy of the detailed record of medications she gave her mother at the same time she was involved in a civil lawsuit over the estate.
Somers was one of three MacNeill daughters to testify on Wednesday. Sabrina MacNeill told the jury Willis never acted like a nanny but was seen slipping into their father’s bedroom at night.
A trembling and seemingly nervous Vanessa MacNeill told the jury of six men and five women that she volunteered to move home and help with the younger girls, but said her father rejected the offer in favor of hiring a nanny. After meeting Willis, she said she told her sister Alexis not to worry about the nanny.
“I was convinced that (Willis) wasn’t somebody to worry about, that my dad might be involved with,” Vanessa MacNeill said. “She was nothing like my mom.”
Also taking the stand for prosecutors on Wednesday was Anna Osborne Walthall, a former Park City businesswoman who said she had an affair with MacNeill for about six months in 2005. Walthall ran a laser hair removal clinic for which MacNeill served as medical director, although the business failed.
Walthall testified that during a “pillow talk” session near the end of the relationship, MacNeill told her there were “natural things you could use in the body to cause someone to have a heart attack.”
Walthall didn’t give — nor was asked for — specifics. She also couldn’t recall if MacNeill said the method could kill someone, only that it couldn’t be detected.
Walthall also acknowledged writing an email to investigators in which she said she was “really excited about the prospect of Martin being off the streets for a really long time.”
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