Dr. Martin MacNeill's Daughters Take The Stand
A family tragedy played out in court as three sisters took the stand at their father's murder trial.
Vanessa MacNeill, Alexis Somers, and Sabrina MacNeill all relived the day their beloved mother was found unconscious in the bathtub.
Sabrina said, "I heard the ambulances go by and I just thought to myself, 'I hope that's not for my family.' "
The sisters testified at the trial of their father—Utah doctor Martin MacNeill, who is accused of drowning his wife Michelle in the tub as she recovered from a facelift which she got at his insistence.
First to testify Wednesday was 32-year-old Vanessa. She trembled as she took the witness stand and reached for a Kleenex. She told how she learned of her mother's death.
"I got phone call from my brother," she said to the prosecutor.
"Who's your borther?" asked the prosecution.
"Damian," she replied.
The prosecutor questioned, "What happened after you received that phone called?"
"I think I threw the phone against the wall and broke the phone," replied Vanessa amid tears.
Prosecutors said MacNeill killed his wife so that he could be with his secret mistress, Gypsy Willis, who he later hired as the nanny. MacNeill has pled not guilty to murder.
Vanessa said she had doubted rumors that her father was having an affair with Willis saying, "She wasn't somebody to worry about that my dad might be involved with."
"Why is that?," asked the prosecutor.
"Because she was nothing like my mom," replied Vanessa as she continued to cry.
Next up was 19-year-old Sabrina, who the MacNeill's adopted from Ukraine. She said she was taken out of school and driven home to be told the grim news about her mother.
Sabrina testified, "My dad walked in with a towel over his face, and he took the towel down a little bit and he said,'Well girls, I do not know how to tell you this, but your mom's dead.' "
Sabrina said she came to wonder about Willis and her father early on saying, "I remember her going up into my dad's room at night, and she would have the door closed. I remember staying up at night and thinking, 'What in the world?' I thought, 'She was our nanny, why is she in up in Dad's room?' "
Then came big sister Alexis Somers who, like her father, is also a physician. She has been outspoken in her belief that their father is guilty. Alexis testified that her mom had wanted to postpone the facelift until she lost weight.
The prosecutor asked, "And your dad was present?"
"Yes, he had a very strong reaction," she replied.
"And what was that reaction?" questioned the prosecution.
"He got very angry at my mom and said, 'No you can't do that. If you don't have surgery now, you're not getting it.' "
As if this trial couldn't get more riveting, there came this shocking moment—yet another woman, Anna Walthall, who said, like Willis, that she had an affair with Dr. MacNeill.
The prosecutor followed up, "Did that relationship ever become sexual?"
"Yes, it did," Walthall replied.
The prosecution continued, "Is it fair to say you and Dr. MacNeill began an affair?"
The woman answered, "Yes."