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Mistrial almost called in Martin MacNeill murder trial

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A major slip up for the prosecution in the Martin MacNeill murder trial almost tainted the jury pool and gave the defense what they needed to call for a mistrial.

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A major slip up for the prosecution in the Martin MacNeill murder trial almost tainted the jury pool and gave the defense what they needed to call for a mistrial.

 

"Shut that off! Who has that? Shut that off!" yelled Provo District Court Judge Derek Pullan.

 

A woman sitting behind the prosecution table, on a laptop, accidently played about 8 to 10 seconds of an ABC News report.

 

"I'm going to order that you disregard what you may have heard though it doesn't appear to me to be any substance,” said Judge Pullan to the jury.

 

While it wasn't quite yet clear what the jury heard defense attorney Randy Spencer asked the judge for a mistrial, but before ruling Judge Pullan wanted to hear the clip again while the jury was out on recess.

 

You could hear, "A doctor accused of killing his wife who was found dead in her bathtub…"

 

Before the judge could even rule the defense dropped its request for mistrial.

 

Judge Pullan asked, "Do you wish to be heard any further on your motion or do you submit?”

“I submit,” responded Spencer.

 

After the break the jury heard testimony from inmate # 1. Unlike the inmates that took the stand Tuesday this witness claimed he did get a confession from Martin MacNeill.

 

Inmate # 1 testified, “He said he gave her some 'oxy' and some sleeping pills and then got her to get in the bathtub."

"Did he say what he did next?” asked the prosecution.

Inmate # 1 responded, “Um, later on he just said he had to help her out. I asked him what that was and he said he held her head under the water for a little while."

 

The defense didn't take this testimony lying down. They hit back hard and grilled the inmate by bringing forward phone records and other correspondence showing that Inmate # 1 was hoping to get his sentenced reduced by testifying against MacNeill. Not only that, but during cross examination the inmate also admitted to watching television and getting others to tell him what was being covered in the press.

 

The state is expected to wrap up its case Thursday.

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