Utah court rejects Martin MacNeill’s appeal

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals has rejected an appeal of the sex abuse conviction of Dr. Martin MacNeill.

MacNeill appealed his sex abuse conviction on the grounds his trial should have been moved from Provo, where he had been convicted in a sensational trial over the death of his wife. MacNeill also contended that his own lawyer should have objected to his daughter testifying that she believed MacNeill murdered her mother. He also claims trial delays violated his constitutional rights.

The Utah Court of Appeals rejected all of them.

Martin MacNeill is led into court for sentencing in the murder of his wife, Michele.

Martin MacNeill is led into court for sentencing in the murder of his wife, Michele. (File photo)

 

“Defense counsel did not fail to exclude Victim’s inflammatory accusation from trial. He affirmatively employed it as the centerpiece of a fabrication defense—a defense that was at a minimum constitutionally reasonable,” Judge Frederic Voros wrote.

MacNeill was convicted of groping his daughter, Alexis Somers, shortly after the 2007 death of his wife, Michele. FOX 13 does not typically name sex abuse victims, but in this case, Somers chose to speak out. She was a key witness in the murder case against MacNeill. Prosecutors accused him of drugging and drowning Michele so he could carry on an affair with another woman.

MacNeill is also appealing his murder conviction. He is scheduled to get his first parole hearing in 2052.

Read the Utah Court of Appeals ruling here: