Friday, September 19, 2014

Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

Associated Press

A Utah doctor convicted of murdering his wife in a case that became a true-crime cable TV obsession was sentenced Friday to 17 years to life in prison at a hearing in which his daughter called him a monster.

The long-awaited sentence came seven years after prosecutors say Martin MacNeill knocked out his wife with drugs prescribed following cosmetic surgery and left her to die in a bathtub so he could begin a new life with his mistress.

"My father's facade has now crumbled," said Alexis Somers, who asked the judge to give MacNeill the maximum penalty. "My father is a monster. He has never shown remorse for any of his crimes. He must be held accountable for his actions."

Judge Derek Pullan gave the 58-year-old MacNeill the harshest term possible: at least 15 years and up to life on the murder charge, plus one to 15 years on an obstruction-of-justice charge. A third sentence in a separate sexual abuse case adds another one to 15 years.

Pullan said the sentences must run one after the other, not at the same time. The Utah parole board will decide later whether MacNeill can be released after 17 years or must serve a longer term.

The one-time doctor and lawyer with a family of eight did not address the court during the sentencing...

Michele MacNeill initially was ruled to have died of natural causes, possibly heart disease, but her family hounded authorities until charges were filed five years after her death...
The judge pointed to Martin MacNeill's careful planning, saying he'd orchestrated the killing so his 6-year-old daughter would find her mother dead...

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