MacNeill’s fate is now in the hands of jurors as opening statements took place Thursday morning in a Provo courtroom.
State prosecutors are painting MacNeill as a liar who forced his wife, Michele, to have a face lift then overdosed her with a mix of drugs after the surgery. Prosecutors said MacNeill was having an affair with another woman.
MacNeill’s attorneys said Michelle died of heart disease.
Michele was found slumped over a bathtub by her 6-year-old daughter in 2007.
Legal expert Nancy Grace spoke with ABC 4 Utah Reporter Cristina Rendon about her thoughts on the case.
“It just doesn’t jive,” Grace said. “Somebody is lying and I guarantee it’s not the 6-year-old little girl.”
The girl is now 12 and the judge will have to determine if she is old enough to testify in the case.
In opening statements made by prosecutors, the 911 call was played for jurors the night Michele was found unconscious. MacNeill sounds frantic and angry, hanging up twice on the 911 operator. He told the operator he did not pull Michele from the tub, but he was giving her CPR.
“It was impossible for him to administer CPR with him outside the tub and her in the tub,” Grace said.
Grace said she watched MacNeill as the call was played in court.
“I just saw his left jaw clenching,” Grace said. “He looked angry, extremely angry. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want him hovering over my hospital bed.”
Michele’s plastic surgeon took the stand Thursday and told jurors he prescribed her more pain killers than he would to another other patient. He said the only reason he did that was at the request of MacNeill who was his wife’s primary care physician.
The defense blames Michele’s death on her heart problems and attacked her daughters in the opening statements by calling them exaggerators. The sisters have long said they believe their father killed their mother.
Grace credits the sisters for not letting the case slip through the cracks.
“If Michele’s children had not pursued justice so doggedly this would have never been brought to a jury,” Grace added. “I feel it’s my duty as a crime victim myself to aid in the search for a verdict that speaks the truth.”