Former Utah doctor Martin MacNeill had to face his oldest daughter Thursday as she cried and visibly trembled for much of her testimony against him, the man she said she once called her best friend, CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.
Rachel MacNeill told jurors that her father moved his mistress into the family’s home within two weeks of her mother’s funeral. She also said that, in the hours after her mother, Michele MacNeill, died, her father was adamant about showing her how he found the body.
“He said that my mother was under the water. He said that her head – that she was under the water, feet sticking out,” Rachel MacNeill said, stepping down from the witness stand and hunching over the bathtub prosecutors had hauled in the Provo, Utah, courtroom. It’s not the actual tub from the family’s home that Michele MacNeill was found in, but it's the same make and model.
Politan says the prosecution needs the jury to hear this type of emotion from the family saying, “It’s going to be a challenge here for prosecutors right, because they don’t have the science in this case so they need these witnesses to be powerful and persuasive.”
On cross-examination, defense attorney Susanne Gustin pulled out a medical record stating that Rachel MacNeill suffered from "delusions and psychosis" in August 2012, and when questioned, MacNeill admitted she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The way Rachel MacNeill said her father described the position of her mother's body in the tub conflicts with the testimony of other witnesses. Several neighbors who saw Michele MacNeill the morning of her death said she was on her back and slumped down inside the tub, not slumped over the side with her head under water in the manner Rachel MacNeill said her father depicted.
Martin MacNeill has pleaded not guilty to murder and obstruction of justice in the death of his wife, who had a powerful cocktail of drugs in her system on April 11, 2007, following face-lift surgery. His attorneys say Michele MacNeill died of natural causes, but prosecutors accuse Martin MacNeill of murdering her in order to be with his mistress, Gypsy Willis.