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Prosecution and defense rest their case in Martin MacNeill murder trial

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Martin MacNeill murder trial rested their case Thursday. After two weeks of testimony from the prosecution the defense called only four witnesses and rested its case.

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Martin MacNeill murder trial rested their case Thursday.

 

After two weeks of testimony from the prosecution the defense called only four witnesses and rested its case.

 

Burden of proof or believable evidence Martin MacNeill’s defense believes the prosecution has none.

 

Defense Attorney Randy Spencer said, "There has not been a prima facie case based upon believable evidence neither in the case of obstruction of justice or murder."

 

The defense asked the judge for a directed verdict. That would mean the decision in the case would be taken out of the hands of the jury.

 

"The state is seeking a jury instruction that allows the jury to not be unanimous on exactly what the cause of death was,” claimed Spencer.

 

The judge denied the defense's motion and the defense wrapped up its case Thursday with only calling forward four witnesses; a probation officer, Ada MacNeill’s kindergarten teacher, an ergonomics expert and one of MacNeill’s former co-workers.

 

Jim Vanzant testified about seeing Martin MacNeill at the hospital the afternoon Michele MacNeill died. Vanzant said, "In the hallway, we ran into each other there, and he told me he was on the way to pick her up."

 

The defense wanted to use Jim Vanzant's testimony as MacNeill’s alibi, but he couldn't say exactly when he saw MacNeill. And when asked about the phone call he received from MacNeill later that afternoon, Vanzant’s testimony almost worked in favor of the prosecution.

 

"He said he was performing code on his wife,” said Vanzant.

Prosecutor Sam Pead asked, “And you said previously to investigators that there was no nonsense about his voice?”

“None,” replied Vanzant.

“And he was totally coherent?” asked Pead.

“Yes,” said Vanzant.

 

That is different from the irrational and out-of-control MacNeill neighbors, emergency responders and hospital staff testified regarding MacNeill’s behavior the day Michele died.

 

The last testimony in this case came from an ergonomics expert who used his training from his Occupational Safety and Health Administration work to determine whether martin could have lifted Michele from the tub.

 

Brett Bestor testified, "I would say at those levels it's highly unlikely that someone would be able to do that. Now everybody hears about the woman who lifted her car off the child so it's not to say it's impossible, but it would be quite a lift.”

 

Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday then the jury will be handed the case for deliberation.

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