Transcript for Utah Doctor's Young Daughter Takes Stand in Dad's Murder Trial
This is a special group. Report from ABC. Gone down Cutler -- New York where this ABC news digital special report the youngest daughter in the Martin -- trial. Will take the stand you -- doctor charged with killing his wife to continue an affair. Has already had two of his daughters take the stand against him and he could face a third. -- McNeal who discovered her mother's body at the age of six. Is not twelfth and the judge today decided that the majority -- -- is testimony. Has been tainted because she was influenced by her sister's. -- the judge today. -- who was subjected to suggestive and repeated questioning about material facts. By an untrained interview -- with bias has to the suspect's guilt or innocence. And -- as to her own pecuniary interest. And two. The court finds by clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood. Likelihood that -- interview techniques implanted false memories. We're distorted real -- you -- in -- And so because of that she will not be allowed to testify she will be though. Cross examined so for more on the judge's ruling and the Martin -- trial in general -- -- bring -- attorney and legal analyst Karen to set up. -- thank you three with us today. So I wanna start with -- -- the judge not allowing her testimony but is it allowing the cross examination is that and in usual procedure. It really is an unusual procedure. Because a lot of the times do you. I as a defense attorney. Of course being cross examining is very important -- the judge is allowing map but as a prosecutor. I think I'd have a a pretty strong objection to the fact that I can't. Ask the questions live and in person reading it and is an interesting way of curing the problem that the judge is trying to deal with but it is highly unusual to allow that but. With children there are special circumstances. And judges are free to make the decisions as they see -- And what about the possibility of the jury question -- -- as well how does that play into this well it plays and a lot because obviously the jury questioning. Is a really interesting concept for our a lot of juries and then asking questions me. Again play into the factors of whether or not she was influenced. -- her testimony remember when she first -- gave her original testimony gave her statement she was six years old. Now she's 121 of the biggest problems that the defense is saying is that. You can't really find her testimony credible. Only thing that you can find credible is the original statement because everything has been tainted. See you could rest assured that there will be a lot of questioning correlated towards what -- influences were. Why she changed her mind and why she had different remembering her thoughts later. The the -- is something that attorneys have to deal with it the same time her relationship is slightly complicated she is the the biological granddaughter of Martin McNeal who was then. Output in the custody of her adopted on its correct correct so he almost acted as a father. And is -- of the state cannot make her testify. But they can ask questions during a redirect and and that's on the prosecution will really obvious -- want to take advantage. -- absolutely anything that they feel needs to be cured they can do it when questioning her again -- the original testimony. Even though that it's not going to be the prosecutor in -- going to read into those statements the statements are are very much in favor of the state. And they're gonna get a bite at the apple as well after the defense system cross examining her. What what about the other testimony that we're gonna be keeping a close -- today and that is Gypsy Willis the other woman involved in this who what is she gonna be tested. We don't know exactly what she's going to be testifying about however the prosecutors are gonna use her to establish that that she is the motive for wanting Michelle McNair. -- murdered because she was having an affair with the defendant. Also there is a lot of very sordid details stand in this case having to do with fraud and theft and and very. Unsavory untruthful. Credibility issues and whether or not miss Willis was actually involved in the planning or premeditation of the murder. It and how exactly is that obviously complicates the issue that for -- four for both it's for both sides really. Well it it complicates it but obviously the prosecutor is has this person -- was having an affair very strong motive. Also she was moved in shortly after the victim that the prosecutors saying -- moved in quote unquote as a nanny. And she was just moved in because he was having an affair with her so a lot of her testimony is not going to be favorable for the defendant all. The affair. The theft and fraud charges that she faced for identity theft it really paints a really horrific. Picture. Not just of her but also of the defendant. You know which we touch on this just briefly about the fact that the jury can question witnesses and it's obviously it's a rarity it's not -- that the standard in this. How does -- shape than if you look at the bigger picture how does that shape both sides is -- their strategy going forward to start making closing -- I always great when you have a jury asking questioning your prosecutor or defense attorney you know exactly what you're thinking and obviously -- the jury -- the people that you need to convince or not convinced that something. Therefore if their questioning and they're giving you certain questions you know how you need to respond or you need to fix your strategy to fit what their thinking about. All right ABC -- -- analyst Karen DeSoto Karen thank you for your time and -- that and we certainly appreciate that. We have a complete reports on -- -- making a trial on abcnews.com. And on Dan Cutler New York with this ABC news digital special report. Q now your latest weather yeah. Pressure. In the -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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