Martin MacNeill left to pick up Ada at about 11:35 a.m. According to documents, they arrived home between 11:35 and 11:46 a.m. Martin MacNeill went to the kitchen, and Ada went to find her mother.
Ada said she found her mother fully clothed in the tub with her head next to the tub's faucet, above reddish-brown water. She estimated the water was about one-quarter of the way up the tub. Her mother's hair was floating toward the drain. Ada went to get her father.
Martin MacNeill's recounting of how he found his wife is strikingly different from Ada's and will be something prosecutors focus on to show MacNeill's alleged lack of veracity. He told authorities his wife was draped over the side of the tub, head first, with her head in the water. Autopsy results later showed Michele MacNeill's blood had pooled after death toward her lower extremities, which gives credence to Ada's version and discounts Martin MacNeill's. According to legal documents, Martin MacNeill told paramedic Marc Sanderson that his wife overdosed on medication and that was the cause of her death.
In an interview, the girlfriend of Martin MacNeill's son Damian, Eileen Hang, told authorities that Martin MacNeill directed her to discard all of his wife's medications upon returning home from the hospital the day Michele MacNeill died. Additionally, the journal that Alexis MacNeill had used to keep a running tally of her mother's medications after surgery mysteriously disappeared.
The trial begins with jury selection on Tuesday, and although prosecutors have laid their case out with numerous legal filings and a 2012 preliminary hearing, the defense has won many pretrial arguments keeping out statements and actions by Martin they feel are prejudicial and irrelevant.
What the defense has in its back pocket are the determinations of several experts set to testify in the trial. According to filed documents, not one conclusively states that Michele MacNeill's manner of death was by homicide. Forensic pathologists will only conclude to a degree of medical certainty that the manner of death is undetermined.
Now, it will be up to a Utah jury of Martin MacNeill's peers to determine if his wife died at the hands of another -- specifically at the hands of her husband, who is now on trial for his life.