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Martin MacNeill's daughters speak about their Mormon father's guilty sentence

// News
  • Martin MacNeill faces 15 years to life for the murder of his wife
  • Found guilty of plying her with drugs after a face lift, which prosecutors said was because he wanted to start a life with his mistress, Gypsy Willis
  • MacNeill's daughters believed he was guilty and pushed for police to reopen the case; two grown daughters testified against him at the trial
  • He still faces claims that he sexually assaulted one of his now-grown daughters in the months immediately following his wife's death

By Meghan Keneally and Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 18:47 EST, 11 November 2013 | UPDATED: 01:19 EST, 12 November 2013

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The mistress of the Mormon doctor who was found guilty of killing his wife has spoken out for the first time saying the she still can't believe that her ex is a murderer.

'The Martin I knew and loved was not the person that he was portrayed on the stand,' Gypsy Willis said of her former lover Martin MacNeill.

Willis was one of the star witnesses in the state prosecution's case against the former doctor who plied his wife Michele with prescription drugs after pressuring her to get a facelift. She was found dead in the family's Provo, Utah home.

Not the cause: Gypsy Willis, Martin MacNeill's mistress, said that he did not have to kill for her because he could have 'had me any time he wanted'

Not the cause: Gypsy Willis, Martin MacNeill's mistress, said that he did not have to kill for her because he could have 'had me any time he wanted'

The MacNeills had eight children and two of their older daughters were the driving forces behind the case against their father.

'We'd been living in fear of our father for so long. He'd threatened to destroy us for standing up to him. To finally get justice for our mom was overwhelming,' his daughter Alexis Somers said following the sentence that was handed down over the weekend.

MacNeill was found guilty on two counts- one of first degree murder and one of obstruction of justice- and now faces at least 15 years to life in prison.

In an interview with ABC News that aired Monday night, Willis said that she still cannot believe that MacNeill, 57, is a killer.

'I did not know anything,' she told ABC.

Willis was never charged in connection to the death, but investigators wondered if she had a role in the planning since she was a regular presence at the MacNeill house following Michele's death.

First she went to Michele's funeral- and even sent Martin a picture of her naked bottom during the service.

Shocked: Willis, who was charged with fraud alongside MacNeill when they stole his daughter's identity to help erase Willis' debt, said she still cannot believe Martin killed his wife Michele

Shocked: Willis, who was charged with fraud alongside MacNeill when they stole his daughter's identity to help erase Willis' debt, said she still cannot believe Martin killed his wife Michele

'It was a huge mistake, I am so sorry. I only wanted to come and support the man I cared for in whatever way I could,' she said.

'I think I wanted to distract him, also I loved this guy and I wanted to keep his attention.

'I was sorry that it was inappropriate.'

The unusual activity did not end there as she admitted that she went along with his plan to have her live in the MacNeill home under the guise of working as a nanny for the children.

'I am sorry for it,' she said of the decision to pose as their nanny. 'I was more selfish back then and truthfully I was living my life for me.'

That said, she still argues against the prosecutor's theory that she was the reason why MacNeill killed his wife, as he wanted to be with Willis instead.

'Martin had me anytime he wanted me I do not believe I was any kind of incentive,' Willis said.

'I truly cared for him and I can't say that I'm sorry that I loved him but I think everyone's life would have been better if I had not met him.

Guilty: Martin MacNeill smiles as he thanks his defense team after he was found guilty of murder and obstruction of justice early Saturday morning

Guilty: Martin MacNeill smiles as he thanks his defense team after he was found guilty of murder and obstruction of justice early Saturday morning

'To finally get justice for our mom was overwhelming': Alexis Somers said that she and her relatives are happy their father will now be behind bars for the murder of their mother

'To finally get justice for our mom was overwhelming': Alexis Somers said that she and her relatives are happy their father will now be behind bars for the murder of their mother

After the investigation went cold, with police initially ruling her death as natural, her daughters and sisters pushed for the case to be reopened.

'The person I knew as my father does not exist. This is a person I once loved, and who I wanted to be proud of me. But we uncovered who our dad really is: a murderer,' Somers told People Magazine.

'To now be responsible for him having to spend the rest of his life behind bars, it's overwhelming to think about. But he's an evil man who's capable of doing so much damage.'

That damage also relates to his daughters, as he still faces charges of sexually assaulting Somers, who is now 31, in the months following her mother's death.

She did not discuss those allegation during her time on the stand in this case. Instead Somers, who is a doctor, recalled how her mother had complained that MacNeill had been giving her many different types of medications.

She also revealed that she and some of the family's other older siblings were suspicious that the woman that he brought in to be their new nanny just days after their mother's funeral was his mistress.

Loss: Michele MacNeill, right, was found unconscious in a bathtub in 2007. Prosecutors claim that her husband, left, left her there to die after giving her a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs

Loss: Michele MacNeill, right, was found unconscious in a bathtub in 2007. Prosecutors claim that her husband, left, left her there to die after giving her a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs

That ended up being the case, and that mistress-turned-nanny, Gypsy Willis, also testified in the trial.

Willis cooperated in the murder case as a way to help lessen her sentence in connection to the fraud charges she faces for stealing the identity of one of MacNeill's adopted daughters in order to erase years of bad debt on her part.

The MacNeill daughters and Michele's sisters were a constant presence in the Provo, Utah courtroom and they were heard letting out a loud yelp before dissolving into tears when the verdict was delivered.

'We now have a sense of relief and peace. For the first time in six years, we can finally breathe. And now finally our mother can be at peace as well,' Somers told the magazine.

Bracing for the outcome: Somers (front right) and her sister Rachel MacNeill (back right) stand alongside their aunts and other relatives as they rose for the jury to read their verdict on Saturday

Bracing for the outcome: Somers (front right) and her sister Rachel MacNeill (back right) stand alongside their aunts and other relatives as they rose for the jury to read their verdict on Saturday. Both Rachel and Alexis testified in the case against their father

Tears in court: Linda Cluff, sister of Michelle MacNeill hugs friends after court was adjourned following the guilty verdict against Martin MacNeill

Tears in court: Linda Cluff, sister of Michelle MacNeill hugs friends after court was adjourned following the guilty verdict against Martin MacNeill

'We're just so happy he can't hurt anyone else. We miss our mom; we'll never see her again. But that courtroom was full of so many people who loved her,' she told The Associated Press.

For the murder conviction, he faces 15 years to life, and the obstruction of justice charge could add one to 15 more years onto that sentence.

MacNeill, 57, showed little emotion when the verdict was read. He hugged his lawyer and said, 'It's OK.' Deputies led him back to Utah County jail.

Randy Spencer, one of his lawyers, said he was disappointed before declining further comment.

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