Martin MacNeill guilty of sex abuse

Published: Thursday, July 3 2014 5:00 p.m. MDT

Spencer questioned why they inconsistently brought up the sex abuse charge, and then failed to mention it to police after Somers was kicked out of her father's house, even though she accused him of murder at that time.

Spencer argued the statements Somers and Rachel MacNeill gave to police and the courts were inconsistent. He also told jurors during closing arguments that the MacNeill daughters had a motive to slant their stories against their father.

Somers, however, testified that she needed to send sweet-sounding emails to her father to try to reconnect with him after she was kicked out. She said between the murder and sex abuse allegations, and the fact that her father's mistress, Gypsy Willis, had moved in by that time, she believed her sisters were in danger.

"My number one goal was to take (my sisters) out of the home," she said. "I was feeling panic, horror, fear, that my sisters were not safe and that they were in the home of someone who had just murdered my mom."

Somers said it was simply a "strategic" move to be nice to her father, and it wasn't because she believed he didn't do anything wrong. Once her father caught on to what she was doing, she had to "switch gears" and "play hardball," Sturgill said during closing arguments. He told jurors to simply use "common sense" when deliberating.

When Spencer questioned Rachel MacNeill about her emails to certain people and why she didn't mention anything about the alleged abuse, she replied, "I didn't mention my mother being murdered, either, but that happened too."

When Rachel MacNeill was asked on the stand whether her sister fabricated any allegations against her father, she replied with a loud, "Oh no!"

McNeill, who was clean-shaven and wore a suit and prescription glasses, was active in talking to his attorneys at their table, despite not taking the witness stand.

He has yet to be sentenced on his murder conviction as a judge considers whether to grant a retrial. Neither Sturgill nor Spencer believe his latest conviction for sex abuse will have any affect on the murder case.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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