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SLC pediatrician ordered to stand trial on murder

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October 3, 2013 02:27 PM EST | AP


SALT LAKE CITY — SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Salt Lake City pediatrician will stand trial for the murder of his ex-wife, a judge ruled Thursday while taking note of the doctor's bizarre behavior after her death more than two years ago.

Third District Court Judge Robin Reese ruled after two days of testimony from prosecution witnesses in the case of John Brickman Wall, 49, who has been charged with murder in the September 2011 death of his ex-wife, Uta Von Schwedler, a University of Utah biologist.

A medical examiner ruled she died from drowning as well as a fatal amount of Xanax, but said this week he wasn't sure if it was a homicide or suicide. Police called the death suspicious, but didn't arrest and charge Wall until April of this year.

Wall's attorney says he will plead not guilty at his next court appearance Oct. 21.

Reese said the evidence hearing showed Wall "was angry at the deceased over a long period of time," The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/15O5Rcl ).

The judge called it unusual that Wall "couldn't tell police, friends and neighbors that he didn't kill his ex." He cited evidence of a struggle at the woman's home, wounds that didn't appear self-inflicted and testimony that von Schwedler was not depressed or suicidal.

Wall's expression changed little as the judge spoke. His face was drawn and solemn, and his eyes appeared to be mostly closed, the Tribune reported.

His attorney, Fred Metos, has said his client maintains his innocence.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com