Transcript for End of Closing Arguments Puts Martin MacNeill's Fate in Jury's Hands
This is a special room. On dance company or quit as ABC news digital special report. He is the -- doctor charged with killing his wife. The judge just finished giving final instructions to the jury and the jury. Is about to begin deliberations. He -- -- it -- on trying -- us now live from Los Angeles -- Well -- right Marty -- space is now in the hands of those jurors ABC news producers in court also say the jurors looked very tired today after listening to fourteen days of testimony in this trial. -- -- -- doctor is accused of giving his wife Michelle a deadly dose of prescription painkillers in 2007. So he could continue his affair with Gypsy Willis. Willis later moved into the McNeil family home as the nanny. But the defense claims Michelle died of heart problems. For real possibility. -- and there. It's been almost seven years since -- staff it is time for the truth to come out. Do right thing. Do the right thing can convict Martin -- Of murder. And obstructing justice. -- -- -- his -- after the prosecution's closing argument prosecutors called dozens of witnesses in this trial including several inmates who spent time with -- behind bars. And claimed he confessed to the crime. Several of his own daughters also testified against him. Now -- McNeill never testified in his own defense in this case the courthouse also says the jurors will -- decide. If they -- a deliberate on Saturdays or they'd rather return to court next week after deliberating today. It and. I'm -- thank you for that -- for more on what could potentially sway the jury want to bring an ABC's chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams talk about some of the details this case and -- out of first up closing arguments how big of a sway -- gonna happen injury. But in a close case they can make a big difference day in a case where the jurors of kind of made up their minds it makes really no difference. I think this is surprisingly. Close case. All of the evidence. Sure makes it seem like Martin McNeil -- it out. Of this marriage. And it also sure makes it seem like he's behavior after the fact is that -- a guy who seems guilty. The problem for the prosecution could be we -- could be this issue of the cause of death meaning. The -- the medical examiner is still to this day. Unwilling to say this was a murder. At first it was accidental that it was undetermined. But that's going to be the crucial question for these jurors -- They're all gonna believe he's a bad -- and they're good all believe that he was probably glad that she was gone. But the questions going to be are they convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he's the one it was that -- -- hands. That she -- What you are talking about behavior announced behavior -- McNeal but I want to talk to -- about the demeanor of his defense attorney. Smiling a lot throughout the entire closing argument what is the -- interpret that he's very confident you know it's interesting. The defense attorney really seems conflict I think it's actually a little bit of -- -- on the part of the defense attorney. But he also incredibly -- one point even said you know. The cause of death issue in and of itself I should sit -- at this point. I don't really need to say anything else in connection with this case. So -- you've got to walk a very fine line when your defense attorney case like this. Exhibiting confidence making it clear to these jurors you don't think it's even close. And on the other hand not alienating. Down on and look I think this defense attorney did -- an -- job with. With a pretty good -- defense argument that they have here but look again if the jurors put all the pieces together and they say to themselves. Wow that's sure as coincidental. That right around the time. -- -- to his affair is picking up right around the time that she's recovering from the surgery. Right after he's the one who -- -- -- -- be taking more aggressive drugs and he's the one who made sure that those drugs were thrown away. Right after she was found dead. You know there's so many circumstances that look bad for him here the questions going to be do the jurors say. That's enough we've got it beyond reason this is one of those cases -- the legal standard really matters. We're going to be sitting there saying to themselves we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt the question was do we think he did it. I'm confident he be convicted if the question is is their proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I'm not a -- announcers sure. Well talking about the defense's actions and reaction to this he was very open about the charges in fact that wanna play a little bit about that. Our client Martin McNeal was -- in an alternative lifestyle. There's no no dispute. -- just jewels clothes in his first affair. He was living -- -- so where you have. -- this so called perfect family. And his wife and kids beautiful wife is as you've -- And suffer from that she was maintaining in mistress on the -- -- -- -- not only gratuitous but also Gypsy but also affect animals and -- So that what he -- that that that's very detail that's well very explicit policy gotta love the alternative lifestyle yeah you don't. When one when people think of alternative lifestyle I don't think -- they typically think of someone saying on having a lot of affair but it. -- very nice way it's and rice repeatedly cheating on his wife. But that is that the -- the defense is he's not a good guy we admit that. We recognize you're not going to law -- client. Bought you cannot convict him they say -- based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt because and they're gonna they kept coming back to this you can't. Proved that she died at his hands as oppose to as. Basically her having a reaction. To the drugs she was taking. And falling into the -- or somehow drowning -- -- and you know it is fascinating to watch the actions and the reactions from those that are in the courtroom including those the daughters. Of the make meals and today they let's -- predetermined. Look he -- wore his daughters get up on the witness stand and -- testifying against him one of them was able to say I think my father did it. The other three were there to try to make sure he serves life in prison. Think about the power that that can half as a human that. All of his -- these -- daughters who look up to him. One of them went into medicine because he was -- doctor I mean these are daughters who loved him who were now coming out and effectively saying. In one of them actually sang. We believe that he's guilty so. That to me if you -- -- what's the most powerful piece of evidence the prosecution has presented in this case. I would say to you that I think it is the fact that his daughters testified against him in particular one of his daughters Alexis who. Was literally chronicling. All of the drugs their mother was taking. And said -- conversations with her mom of that. How she -- -- having an affair she worried he was over medicated her. Etc. and there was actually one statement it didn't come in in the trial which is the most incriminating where she said if something happens to me picture wasn't that. A complex trial if indeed and I want to actually go through that the charges that are against Martin because here's the judge actually listing them out. The possible reasons. The defendant is charged in count one with the murder. You cannot convict him of this offense unless you find beyond a reasonable doubt based on the evidence each of the following elements. One. That on or about April 11 2007. In this if you talk to. The defendant Martin McNeal. Is the person who caused the death of Michelle McNeill and did so under the following circumstances. Three -- the defendant intentionally. Or knowingly cause the death of Michelle McNeil. Warren 3-D. The defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury to Michelle McNeal. And committed an act clearly dangerous to human life that cause the death of -- McNeal. 43. See the defendant acted under circumstances. -- -- a depraved indifference to human life. And knowingly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk of death to another and thereby cause the death of Michelle McNeal. Sedan which of those are letting realistic 3-D NC -- the -- to crucial ones there because they allow the jurors to say okay. Let's even assume that we we don't believe we're not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. That he murdered her and intended to murder and allows them to say at least we do we at least we agree. That he -- was reckless so reckless -- -- conduct. Such that it led to her death. For example I -- that allows them to say it was his fault. It was his actions that led to her death even if he wasn't specifically trying to killer at that moment. -- -- And so is now in the hands of the jury ABC's chief legal affairs. Anchor Dan Abrams Dan thank you very much appreciate that -- -- it and complete recap. Right here on ABC news -- confidant and that's our New York this ABC news digital special report.
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