Utah Court of Appeals upholds murder conviction in doctor’s death

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals has rejected a request for a new trial for Johnny Wall, convicted of the murder of his ex-wife.

Dr. Uta von Schwedler, a cancer researcher who had made a breakthrough discovery on leukemia just days before her death, was found in a bathtub inside her home in 2011. Her ex-husband, Dr. Johnny Brickman Wall, was convicted by a jury in 2015 and sentenced to serve up to life in prison.

Wall challenged his conviction, arguing there was insufficient evidence to convict him and certain DNA evidence should not have been allowed at trial. He also claimed his defense attorneys gave insufficient assistance. The Utah Court of Appeals rejected all his claims.

“This is not a case in which the evidence was so inconclusive or inherently improbable that it could not support a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Judge Diana Hagen wrote. “The State presented sufficient evidence to support the jury’s conclusion that Uta was murdered and that Wall was her murderer.”

Prosecutors accused Wall of drugging and drowning von Schwedler inside her Salt Lake City home, while Wall maintained she committed suicide. The couple was in the midst of a custody battle following their divorce.

Read the Utah Court of Appeals’ ruling here:

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