Mormon doctor Martin MacNeill 'murdered wife and moved lover into family home as his nanny'
A woman who had a year-long affair with a doctor before he allegedly killed his wife has testified that he moved her into his family home just weeks after the murder to be the new nanny.
Gypsy Jyll Willis detailed the clandestine relationship as she took the stand in the fifth day of a preliminary hearing of Martin MacNeill, 56, in Provo, Utah on Wednesday.
As she left the stand, she locked eyes with MacNeill, staring adoringly at him as she walked past.
MacNeill, a former Mormon Sunday school teacher and father of seven is accused of murdering his wife Michele, who was found drowned in the bathtub at their Pleasant Grove, Utah home in 2007.
He is accused of forcing her to have a face lift before giving her a cocktail of lethal drugs, which he claimed would help her recovery. She was found dead eight days later.
Look of love: Gypsy Willis passes Martin MacNeill, a doctor accused of murdering his wife, after testifying against him on Wednesday. They had an affair for more than a year before the death
Willis revealed to the court that she met him online in 2005 and for the first time in person that November, before beginning a sexual relationship in January 2006, the Deseret News reported.
Yet when they began their relationship, she did not see it having a future, she said.
'It was just for fun,' Willis said. 'It was whenever we could get together. It was just friendly.'
'He had great respect and love for Michele,' she said. 'He said he had a family and was very happy.'
She moved into a duplex that MacNeill owned and provided her with an unlimited credit card to help her get through nursing school, she said. She used it for gas, groceries and coffee.
Accused: MacNeill, a former Sunday school teacher and father of seven, is accused of murdering his wife
After the death of Michele MacNeill, which was initially ruled as natural causes, the circumstances of their relationship changed and Willis said she and her lover began talking about a future together.
'Martin told me he felt very sorry we had been involved prior to Michele's death,' she said. 'He was embarrassed about that. He wanted me to come help him and support him.'
But he wanted the children to meet their new nanny in a neutral place, which led to the bizarre circumstances of their first meeting.
One of his daughters, Rachel MacNeill, told the court that three days after her mother's funeral, her father asked her to meet him at the LDS Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork.
'He thought it would be a nice place and a calming environment... a conducive way to be introduced to Rachel,' Willis explained.
At the temple, he told her he wanted them to pray for guidance about getting a new nanny and, as they left, a woman named Jyllian walked by them, Rachel MacNeill said.
Unhappy marriage: Martin MacNeill, left, allegedly gave his wife Michele, right, a cocktail of lethal drugs as she recovered from a face lift. She was found drowned in the bathtub eight days after the operation
Heartbroken: Rachael MacNeill, one of MacNeill's daughters, testified that her father took her to a temple to pray for a nanny before 'bumping' into Willis, who he pretended not to know
Her father pretended as if he could not remember the woman well and did not know her name. He later told his children that he wanted the woman to work as their nanny.
'She didn't do anything that a nanny would do,' Rachel MacNeill said. 'I expected to see what I had seen before (with those who) had been hired as nannies, that their main focus was the children. That they were there to work ... not just sitting and staring at my dad.'
After the death of his wife, MacNeill and Willis were convicted of identity fraud and served years in prison for stealing the identity of MacNeill's 16-year-old adopted daughter.
When she left federal prison, Willis was convicted on a state charge but prosecutors agreed not to seek extra jail time - provided she testified against her lover.
Yet defense attorney Randy Spencer said he thinks the testimony did little to help their case.
Big family: MacNeill, a doctor and Mormon Sunday school teacher, adopted four children with his wife
'Mr. MacNeill has done a lot of bad things in his life,' he said. 'Just because you're a bad man, however, does not make you a murderer.'
While they were imprisoned, the couple wrote to each other and planned to make a future but now, 'quite honestly, we have both lost everything', she said.
After the murder, the MacNeill children fought relentless for police to re-open the case into their mother's death, certain their father had killed her.
An autopsy indicated she died of natural causes, but a 2010 addendum to that report questioned the manner of death and authorities now believe she was drugged by her husband.
The unravelling of the MacNeill family began in 2005 when her father started losing weight, tanning and acting strangely, even disappearing for days at a time.
Stunning: MacNeill allegedly forced his wife Michele, pictured, into having a facelift and gave her a lethal mix of drugs as she was recovering. He found her dead in the bathtub of their home
Doting: Michele was described as a loving mother who did everything for her children and her husband
In 2007, Michele became convinced her husband was having an affair after she found out the same number had been called over and over again at strange hours of the morning.
A few days later, MacNeill came to his wife with a strange request: He wanted her to have a facelift.
Two weeks later, she had the surgery and was back at home recovering with Valium, Percocet, Phenergan and Ambien pills, supplied by her husband.
A few days later, as she struggled with her recovery, she told her daughter: 'In case anything happens to me, make sure it was not your father.'
Michele was found dead in the bathtub just eight days after the surgery.
MacNeill claimed his wife slipped and fell, and he discovered her on returning home from collecting his then six-year-old daughter.
'Killed': Prosecutors say MacNeill did not give his wife CPR, as he had claimed, and purposefully gave the 911 dispatcher the wrong address to further delay emergency responders
In a series of frantic 911 calls, he hung up on the operator three times in five minutes. He lied to the dispatcher about performing CPR and gave the wrong address of his residence, which delayed emergency responders, prosecutors claim.
According to an affidavit, Utah State Medical Examiner Todd Grey said the combination of medicines found in her body, which may have been forced upon her and could have been lethal.
'When my father called I knew he'd killed her,' Alexis Somers said. 'I just started screaming he killed her. My father planned and orchestrated my mother's death and thought he could get away with it.'
Family members have said they suspect Willis was also involved in Michele MacNeill's death, but she has not been charged in the case.
The preliminary hearing is expected to finish on Thursday when Judge Samuel McVey will determine if there is enough evidence to order MacNeill to stand trial.
A woman has told of her shock after she discovered her husband of six years was a serial rapist. Joy Lynn Martinez first met Robert Bruce ... Full story
- Skeletal remains found by hunters in Okla. could belong to Jamison family, missing since 2009
- EMU student and aspiring broadcaster Julia Niswender found murdered in apartment
- Navahcia Edwards: Model 'robbed bank at gunpoint with her ex-boyfriend wearing NUN costumes inspired by the movie The Town'
- Jersey Bridgeman: Girl, 6, whose father chained her to a dresser found dead
- Brandon Tomblin: Ex- teacher with HIV sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for having sex with his male students
- Ex-McDonald's worker gets jail for spitting in cop's food
- 'Demonic' teens 'kill and try to dismember' two men after luring them to their home
- Vida Golac denies trying to smuggle drugs into prison in her genitals and claims she was protecting her friends
- Man 'kills girlfriend with vacuum cleaner'
- Massachusetts schoolboy Philip Chism accused of raping and killing his maths teacher
- Michael Pena rape trial: Survivor Lydia Cuomo who was sexually assaulted by NYPD cop speaks out
- Buried bodies found in Victorville, California belong to missing McStay family
- Kayla Peterson Murder: Teen thugs gun down young mother, 22, after she told them to 'get a job'
- Catholic girls' school teacher admits lesbian affair with student, 17, after plying her with alcohol
- English teacher, 34, arrested for having sex with 17-year-old student seven times
- Knockout game is killing innocent civilians
- Florida woman Danielle Barron prostitutes herself in her home as infant slept nearby 'because she is addicted to money'
- Zeke Campfield: Newspaper reporter arrested for 'taking upskirt pictures of teens from Moore, Oklahoma'
- Teen Abigail Catt 'drove getaway car for her father and brother as they robbed bank'
- Ryan Muehlhauser: Pastor who 'offered to "cure" homosexuals is arrested for sexually assaulting male clients'
- Tenn. Man Randolph Maidens Charged With Murder in Wife's Death
- Not-so-model citizen: Maxim 'Hometown Hottie' finalist arrested in heroin bust
- Florida woman Jillian Martone 'attacks man with kitchen knife after first date for refusing to be her boyfriend'
- Stephanie Suggs Millard: High School biology teacher, 33, arrested for having sex with 17-year-old pupil
- Manuel Guzman Jr: Teenager 'killed boxer for a thrill after luring him to his death with this Facebook picture of seductive model'
- NJ man awakened when angry girlfriend Linda Mendez bites his scrotum, cops say
- Elementary school principal Leslie Chance 'shot her husband dead and dumped his body in an orchard'
- Judge frees mob boss's wife Alicia DiMichele so she could party in Vegas
- Man and seven-month-old baby boy killed in ambush on New Orleans bridge
- Teenager scams New York surgeon to buy bigger breasts
- Married teacher Erin Sayar, 36, allegedly had sex with Kevin Eng when she was meant to be tutoring him
- Herbert Daniel Ortiz, Wrestling Coach, Sought For Sexual Abuse Charges Arrested in Mexico
- Bryan E Sweatt kills five people and himself in Greenwood, South Carolina
- Musician Raefe Ahkbar kills three bandmates in New York
- Nebraska man Anthony Utterback acquitted after stabbing his wife's lover to death
- Florida man who ‘exposed himself’ tells police: ‘I was just airing out my penis’
- California woman Amanda Sorensen, 22, 'killed her boyfriend's daughter by force-feeding her CHILLI POWDER as a punishment'
- Maths teacher Ashley Nicole-Anderson arrested for 'having sex with four students and sending them naked photos'
- Jerry Rasmussen: Homeowner, 60, arrested after shooting dead intruder who broke into his house at 2 a.m.
Rate this article
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|