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Prosecutors to present evidence in October against Utah doctor accused of killing ex-wife

Published June 11, 2013 7:10 am

Courts • Preliminary hearing for John Brickman Wall scheduled for October.
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The doctor accused of killing his ex-wife, a scientist at the University of Utah, will hear the evidence in the murder case against him at an October hearing.

John Brickman Wall, 49, appeared briefly in 3rd District Court on Monday to schedule a preliminary hearing, at which prosecutors will put on evidence and call witnesses.

Wall, a Salt Lake City pediatrician whose license was recently suspended, is charged with first-degree felony counts of murder and aggravated burglary in the alleged 2011 slaying of his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler.

Prosecutors told Judge Robin Reese they expect the preliminary hearing to take about three days.

Before that hearing, Wall will appear before in court at least twice more — next week in a hearing that may determine whether the doctor will have an opportunity to bond out of jail, and again in July for a status check.

Next week, the couple's son, Pelle Wall, is expected to try and persuade the judge to keep his father behind bars.

The teen will present to the court a psychological profile he commissioned of his father that describes the Salt Lake City pediatrician as an angry, self-centered man who "would sacrifice any member of the family for his own needs."

Von Schwedler, 49, was found dead in the bathtub of her Sugar House home on Sept. 27, 2011. For months, authorities struggled to determine whether the woman's death was murder or suicide.

But expert analysis of the crime scene has revealed a violent struggle and Wall's DNA in the home, which he did not share with his ex-wife, according to charging documents.

Von Schwedler and John Wall had a contentious divorce in 2006 that led to years of custody battles over their four children, which prosecutors have cited as a motive for murder.


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