A Utah man accused of poisoning his wife will fight murder charges by claiming he was not home where his spouse swallowed a deadly cocktail, according to court documents reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.
Prosecutors allege that Martin MacNeill, 57, killed his wife Michelle MacNeill, 50, in 2007, so he could maintain a relationship with his supposed mistress, Gypsy Wills, WCSC reported.
His trial for murder and obstruction of justice began today. One of the first witnesses called was Michelle MacNeill's surgeon, who testified that he prescribed higher than normal levels of painkiller Percocet and anxiety medication Valium as part of the treatment for her 2007 facelift, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Surgeon Scott Thompson testified Thursday that he upped the dosage in April 2007 because Martin MacNeill told him his wife had a low threshold for pain.
Days later her dead body was found dressed in a jogging suit in the bathtub of the family's Pleasant Grove home. The couple's 6-year-old daughter discovered her mother's lifeless body submerged in the water, according to the Associated Press.
Moments later, Martin MacNeill, a doctor who also has a law degree, placed a frantic call to 911. He gave the operator an incorrect address to his home and twice hung up in what prosecutors claim was an attempt to delay authorities from reaching his wife, whom he'd allegedly given a lethal combination of the medicines Thompson prescribed.
But the medical examiner never ruled her death a homicide and never issued a cause of death, ABC News reports.
At least two of MacNeill's adult children -- Rachel MacNeill and Alexis Somers -- are expected to be called to testify. The couple had six other children, according to reports.
Several medical experts may also be called to testify about MacNeill's death.
Somers will be a witness for the prosecution and claims that her mother made an ominous statement days before her overdose.
"A few days before her death, I was helping her wash her hair and she turned to me and said, 'Alex, if anything happens to me, make sure it was not your father,'" Somers said, according to ABC News.
If convicted, Martin MacNeill could face life in prison, HeadlIne News says.