Martin MacNeill murder sentencing and sex abuse case delayed as prosecution waits on second competency evaluation

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -  Martin MacNeill appeared in the Fourth District court in Provo for a competency hearing in the sex abuse case against him. While this is unrelated to his murder conviction it has put his sentencing in that case on hold.


It's been nearly six months since MacNeill was convicted of killing his wife Michele, but hat case won't move forward until his competency review in the sex abuse case is completed.


Appearing a little thinner than the last time we saw him Martin MacNeill entered court Monday wearing a red and white stripped jumpsuit. MacNeill sat with other prisoners as his lawyer, Randy Spencer, explained to the judge that his client was willing to move forward in regards to his competency. Spencer said after months of refusing to speak with the doctors who were ordered to do the evaluation, MacNeill had a change of heart and finally last week met with a doctor. That doctor found MacNeill competent to stand trial; something his daughter Alexis, the state's star witness in the murder trial and the accuser in the sex abuse case, has always known to be true.


"I know he is competent,” said Alexis Somers. “I think this is just a delay tactic by him and Randy Spencer."


Spencer says he and his client aren't delaying, in fact, he told the judge Monday they were willing to go with the one doctor's findings. That didn't fly with the prosecution who want two doctors to evaluate MacNeill as the statute requires.


Somers told ABC 4 Utah, "Every hearing it just seems like it's another delay, but we'll just do things the way they're supposed to be done and hopefully get this resolved."


A resolution in the competency hearing means things could move forward in the murder trial.     Earlier this year the defense filed a motion to arrest judgment in the case arguing a federal inmate lied on the stand about a possible early release from prison in exchange for his testimony. The judge ruled that arguments on that motion can't go forward until the competency issue in the sex abuse case has been resolved.


"Hopefully we get this resolved soon and we're able to move on with our lives as well as getting my mom's sentencing,” said Somers.


The competency hearing has now been scheduled for May 5th.



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