Martin MacNeill Defense Takes on Memory of First Responders

The trial of the Utah doctor accused of killing his wife continues.
3:00 | 10/22/13

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Transcript for Martin MacNeill Defense Takes on Memory of First Responders
This is a special group. When I'm Dan Cutler New York with its ABC news digital special report a doctor on trial for the murder of his wife. So he could continue an affair more witness testimony in the trial Martin McNeal today. The defense tried to pick apart the testimony from the first responders trying to show that their memory is questionable. The defense especially question in the recall a fire chief mark Sanders said. -- start by eluding most witness testimony has been tainted because the first responders -- questioned separately. -- -- -- -- -- During the beginning part of this interview there was some discussion about I think everybody interviewed together and mr. Whitney. Told you all. He says time has gone by we understand that hand the memory sometimes people can -- you know remind each other things that may have happened. And we don't mind that. This is not one of those things where it's issued -- And we have to separate -- Through columns through -- sinner yes. A strike you as -- No so it's a shooting and then the -- separate people but if it's just a homicide investigation you don't need to. I don't recall specifically at the time that we knew this was a homicide investigation. After that the prosecution tried to defend -- -- credibility but the defense. Kept that. -- your testimony today based on your memory or what you've heard from other people talk about this case it's based in my memory. Thank you. -- the preliminary hearing in October reported twelve who testified that her care was was -- and her clothes were drawn. Correct yes. Yes and -- home. And that's based upon us for issue you recalled being the case from your observations. Correct yes. Fair to say that. That. Perhaps all of your observations are correct. Include conspiracy. Well you doubted your. You're consummation of the pink sweat -- the preliminary hearing right. Yeah and the diet but I told you that that was my perception -- that's what I. The recall seeing if you recall seeing pink sweats but you said that that you doubt it because nobody else for -- -- the way you do it. If the preliminary hearing. Pastor of our glucose. And in view. Told -- that the -- You didn't recall the mr. The glucose. That -- just read where you said no it wasn't given. -- Yeah I think I'm I think I'm sensing thing. The defense hoping that he can prove to the jury that the testimony is faulty. And tell us more about the latest on this testimony is homicide prosecutor and it see lots and see it thanks for joining us today. So a lot of the answers -- -- started with the words I don't know. Is that -- help for the defense. I don't know that I don't know works for either side here and as a prosecutor I say if someone says I don't know that goes to their credibility unless -- -- As they are trying to cover thing. The defense can be saying the same thing you know the reason defense went so hard at the fire keep today's because. One of his. Sentences I think was really probably the crucial piece of evidence has come forward today and that is when he said. That he -- calls doctor Martin -- saying I only left her for a few minutes remember one of the defense's strategies here is to say alibi he wasn't even there. -- -- Seeing patients now that the prosecution keeps going on the behavior of Martin McNeal when those first responders arrived in fact -- analysts in the some of that test. He was historical. He was. Importing out things lake. Like YE right -- to have the surgery why eighty's why are you on so many medications. Why god. I hadn't done just and he was -- -- -- in and out of the home and insists. Hysterical. He was very animated. Seem to be very very upset. Remember what he said. I remember a few things idiots. Specifically. One -- that -- memory recall him saying was. And Parse through apparently from Shelton -- via. Plastic surgery cosmetic surgery -- and human language -- referred to. Why did you have to have the surgery. And you remember anything else he said it. I'm just like to say he was just highly animated and why why. He was pleading for comeback. So the question is that are they trying to show him as erratic and if that's the case then. How are they going to -- disprove the fact that this was simply not a husband that was grieving. I think what they're trying to show is while the witnesses may use the words hysterical when the prosecution puts all the evidence that -- -- say it wasn't hysterical it was a calculated hysteria. Which is very different. For example when he gives that last statement that we saw from the witness. Saying that why did you have to have the surgery will we know from the evidence -- RD in that it was this doctor Martin McNeal that basically pushed just like to have the surgery on his timetable. So they're trying to show that -- every witness the way that he was behaving. Ultimately is going to be peace is showing that this is a man who was calculating the entire time to cover up his own actions here. Is that testimony today the jury was shown shots of the scene of the crime of life in this bathtub where Michelle mcdaniels body was discovered. At that point in the courtroom today is the jury also looking -- reaction from doctor McNeal. Sometimes yes and sometimes now mean from what we have seen when the court -- shots have been shown the defendant he is shows a very common demeanor so I'm sure that based on their own reaction again when they see blood they are brought back to this isn't just. Faxon words this is about human being a woman a mother. A family member who died and this is her blood and the doctor those very composed every time that I -- shop and I'm sure the jury is always looking to see. Can they see any visible reaction any sort agree on his face here at least from what we could see on the outside we did not see that. If you -- -- want to talk a little bit about the fact that the jury has the ability to question witnesses and we've seen some interesting questions come from the jury box today. They questioned witnesses about their memory about the observations. Does the fact that they can do that does that help one side more than the other. I don't know I guess it depends on each case but certainly if it's a question manager may have -- they're deliberating. Why not let them get it out and asked the witness as opposed to not having that answer and having to make a decision without it. So I think that as long as either side sees the questions of the Jerry knows where they're going eight gives them a better chance to some. What their position isn't answering those questions and putting their own spin on -- if you well when they -- summation that the end. Who NL -- gonna ask you about that mean how quickly then can both sides sort of tailor their response based on those kinds of -- actions. Well I mean it's great to start if you start to see the -- asking questions going in a particular direction certainly appears the prosecutor you better start paying about that when you put your witnesses not. Saying look this is something my jurors -- -- -- to let me at least ask the questions whether or not the witnesses can answer them we'll -- on the stand. But you certainly want the jury to get all the information that you. As a prosecutor believed they need obviously the defense may do the same as well and with the jury needs to make the decision here if you just look at the numbers there are eight jurors in this trial does that make it easier than for a conviction. I don't know whether it is later here in New York you have to have twelve you still need to convince each and every person it just takes once in -- matter what that number is. You don't know what is -- can hold them up that they don't see the Evan CN but certainly -- I guess just if you're looking at the numbers game. It could be easier to convince eight as opposed to twelve. All right of course the testimony will continue and a -- and a lot to thank you so much free time -- your insight always appreciate it. You have a complete report on abcnews.com. For now on day -- New York with this BC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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