On September 19, a Salt Lake City judge ordered Dr. Martin MacNeill to serve 15 years to life for the murder of his wife so that he could carry on an affair with another woman, according to a news article at Fox 13. MacNeill is now appealing his sentence, which was to be stacked on top of other crimes he had been convicted of including forcible sex abuse and obstruction of police.
Ultimately, the former doctor faces a maximum of 45 years to life behind bars. On Monday, September 29, his attorney filed documents to appeal the judgment, sentence, and commitment according to the article.
MacNeill had been a respected physician who enjoyed a high social standing with his wife, Michele. According to a judge in the case, he was living a double life with his wife and Gypsy Willis, his mistress, but was not willing to give up his marriage and sacrifice his career/social standing. He then went on to plot his wife’s death, according to Fourth District Court Judge Derek Pullan.
MacNeill allegedly secured various drugs that would kill Michele, gave them to her as she was recovering from plastic surgery, and then placed her in a bathtub, where she drowned and was “found” by the doctor’s 5-year-old daughter. MacNeill’s children claim that he is a monster, and that he laughed while his family cried when the sentence was handed down.
Murder is the most heinous crime a person can commit, however even those found guilty of killing another individual have the right to appeal a conviction or sentence. While there are cases in which an innocent person is wrongfully convicted, there are also many instances in which errors are made in the legal process. A defendant’s legal and constitutional rights may not be violated in the course of obtaining justice. Police often make mistakes that are considered unlawful. Prosecutors and even judges can err, as they are all human.
If you have been wrongly convicted of a crime or feel that the sentence given was too harsh, consult with a Michigan criminal appeals attorney who is highly experienced and skilled in the appeals process.