'I'm getting away with murdering my wife,' Martin MacNeill allegedly told inmate
Ex-doctor 'had to help' wife die by holding her head underwater, 2nd inmate says
Days later, a troubled Poirier went back to MacNeill, offering condolences and asking if MacNeill was serious about the things he had said.
“He threw up his arms and said, “Look where I’m at. Does it look like I’m joking?’” said Poirier, who testified under an immunity deal with prosecutors because he is accused of several felonies. “He said, ‘I’m glad the bitch is dead.'”
Judge Derek Pullan ruled Tuesday that Poirier and other inmates could testify about MacNeill's alleged use of that derogatory term.
Poirier said he then asked guards to move him to a housing unit away from MacNeill.
“I didn’t want to be around him,” said Poirier, adding that he had earlier sought medical advice from MacNeill, shared poetry with him and read an autobiography MacNeill had scripted.
Prosecutors questioned Poirier for only about 20 minutes. Spencer, however, kept him on the stand much longer, peppering Poirier with questions about his lengthy criminal history, which includes some 13 arrests since 2006, numerous convictions and stints on probation. He also questioned the man's motivation for testifying, but Poirier said he came forward because it was "the moral thing to do."
MacNeill was convicted of identity theft charges in 2009 and sentenced to four years in federal prison for stealing the passport of his 16-year-old adopted daughter and using it to get false documents for Willis. Jurors won’t heard those details because the judge ruled it inadmissible and prejudicial.
Pullan also denied a motion Wednesday by defense attorneys for a mistrial after a news report about the case was accidentally broadcast during cross-examination of Poirier.
"Who has that? Shut that off!" Pullan said loudly as the video played. Later, the judge explained that he intentionally shouted to drown out the sound so jurors wouldn't hear it.
The source of the video was the laptop of a prosecution staffer who was sitting behind attorneys.
Spencer argued that the disruption was grounds for a mistrial and said he heard remarks about his client's wife being found in a bathtub. The judge later listened to 30 seconds of the video before determining that no harm had occurred.
Willis is expected to be the final witnesses for prosecutors Thursday. The defense indicated it will likely call four witnesses and jurors could begin deliberations on Friday.
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