ER physician says doctor offered $10K to save wife

AP News
Posted: Oct 23, 2013 1:43 PM
ER physician says doctor offered $10K to save wife

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah doctor accused of killing his wife offered money to an emergency room physician to keep trying save his wife, the physician testified Wednesday.

"He offered me $10,000 to continue my resuscitation and not quit," Scott Vanwagoner said during the murder trial of Martin MacNeill.

Vanwagoner said he was already working furiously to revive Michele MacNeill, and the defendant must have known his wife was already dead.

He called MacNeill's remark "off-the-wall" and the oddest experience of his medical career.

"I'm not sure how to answer that question, or why he would make that offer," Vanwagoner told a jury in Provo.

It was the latest testimony about MacNeill's bizarre behavior on the day his wife died.

Police and paramedics have testified that he had cursed his 50-year-old wife after they arrived for insisting on getting a face-lift then taking too much medication and falling into a bathtub.

Prosecutors claim MacNeill, 57, plotted his wife's death by drugging her and helping her into a bathtub.

The 2007 death shocked the Mormon community of Pleasant Grove, about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City, because the suspect was a doctor and had been a church leader. MacNeill has since surrendered his medical license.

Vanwagoner said every measure and drug used by the emergency team to revive Michelle MacNeill "had no effect."

"It was an unusual death in someone we wouldn't expect to die," he said.

MacNeill has said he found his wife slumped head-first into a bathtub when he returned home from an errand in April 2007. Police initially found no suspicion of homicide, and an autopsy suggested she died of a heart attack. But a cause of death was not determined.