Crime • Police suspect man wanted to kill his wife and continue an extra-marital affair.
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A Pleasant Grove doctor has been charged with murdering his wife and obstructing the investigation into her death.
Martin Joseph MacNeill, 56, was charged Friday with first-degree felony murder and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in 4th District Court. Police suspect he overmedicated his wife, Michele MacNeill, on April 11, 2007.
At the time of her death, investigators say MacNeill, the former clinical director of the Utah State Developmental Office, was involved in an extra-marital affair. The evidence suggests that MacNeill devised a scheme to kill his wife so that he could continue the affair without seeming to be the one leaving the marriage or being responsible for her death, according to charging documents.
After MacNeill's wife came home to recover from a cosmetic surgery on April 4, 2007, investigators suspect he gave her a potentially deadly mixture of prescription drugs. Michele MacNeill became listless and unresponsive, according to the charges. Their daughter refused to leave her mother's bedside until she returned to medical school in Nevada on April 10, the charges state.
The next day Michele MacNeil was dead.
Martin MacNeill picked up one of his daughters from school on April 11. When they got home, the daughter found her mother in a bathtub that was a quarter full of reddish-brown water, the charges state.
MacNeill called 911. But he lied to the dispatcher about performing resuscitation and lied to police about events surrounding her death in an effort to hinder, delay or prevent any investigation, according to the charges.
Michele MacNeill died that afternoon at the hospital after doctors stopped resuscitation efforts.
A toxicology report indicated that Michele MacNeill would have likely taken some of the drugs within an hour of her death, and that morning, her husband was home or only a five-minute drive away, the charges state.
"The investigation has revealed that Martin has reported to various doctors, including a record of admission on official military documents, he heard voices directing him to kill. Martin also asserted he killed his family members and others," according to the charges. Orem City police previously arrested Martin for threatening to kill his wife in a domestic dispute, and he had threatened and offered to kill one of his daughters and told a former mistress that he killed a member of his family and patients, the charges state.
MacNeill was arrested Friday and booked into Utah County Jail, held on $1 million bail.
He was convicted in 2009 for accepting benefits from a fraudulent insurance claim. He also has a pending court case for forcible sexual abuse for an incident alleged to have occurred a month after his wife died.