The prosecution says it's murder while the defense points to heart disease as most likely cause of death. As the trial for the case begins, the jury has to put pieces together in order to know if Michele MacNeill's death was due to natural death or former physician and Sunday school teacher of the Mormon Church, Martin MacNeill, husband of Michele, was responsible for her death.

Michele  was found slumped by Ada, the couple's 12 year-old-daughter, in a bathtub in their family home in April 2007. Roughly two hours later, she was pronounced dead. Just days before, the victim had a facelift surgery on the insistence of her husband.

Martin was charged with murder and put behind bars in September 2012.

The medical examiners were not able to determine the exact cause of death of Michele. According to a medical professional who saw the patient prior to her cosmetic surgery, the mother of eight appeared to be in good health.

The prosecution is trying to establish that the former physician husband is lying, manipulative, and killed his wife after he was confronted about an alleged affair. The accused allegedly forced his wife to have plastic surgery, overdosed her with a deadly concoction of drugs, and helped her to the bathroom where she was found. Looking for motives, the prosecutors point to Gypsy Willis, the alleged mistress of Martin MacNeill.

Martin invited Willis to his wife's funeral, worked for their household as a nanny, and then proposed marriage to the woman he met online roughly a year and a half before his wife died.

Martin and Willis were convicted for identity theft but the latter agreed to testify in the murder trial in exchange for shorter prison time.

"Because Martin was a physician and he asked me for these things." testified Dr. Scott Thompson, who had conducted the facelift surgery on Michele, he had prescribed more drugs than usual to the victim. Thompson was called to the witness stand on Thursday. Prosecutors believe the patriarch of the family forced his wife to take a concoction of sleeping pills, pain medications, and anxiety drugs while she was recovering from her facelift surgery. Thompson clarified that he had advised the patient to use the painkillers sparingly and that she needed more of the antibiotics.

Ada Martin is also waiting to be called to testify against her father. The defense argued that the daughter should not face the court since her story might be influenced by her sisters, who had interviewed the then-six-year-old Ada and believed that their father murdered their mother.

The court is also about to rule if the bathtub of the MacNeill's can be brought to the court to demonstrate how Michel died. There will also be testimonies from paramedics, police, and neighbors of the MacNeills.

"I think he drugged my mother and drowned her. It's been horrifying, and horrifying that we had to wait for this day so long," said Alexis Somers, one of the MacNeill's daughters, in an interview back in 2012.

Somer and her sister Rachel will stand as witnesses for the prosecution. Willis might also be called to the stand. There are also reports that two former cellmates of Martin in a Texas prison and another inmate from a Utah penitentiary will testify.

"Martin has made poor choices in his life. He had affairs during his marriage. We may think he's a total jerk and disgusting. And that's natural. But decide this case on the facts rather than the emotion," said defense lawyer Susanne Gustin, in her opening statement in court.

The defense will insist that Michel died because of her heart disease and not due to any actions taken by Martin.

Martin MacNeill was a prominent doctor and the former Utah State Hospital director. He has surrendered his medical license. The McNeill's home was in Pleasant Grove in Provo, about 45 miles from Salt Lake City.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.