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MacNeill found competent to stand trial for forcible sex abuse

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Posted at 2:10 PM, May 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-05 20:21:43-04

PROVO -- Dr. Martin MacNeill, convicted of killing his wife and now facing a sex abuse charge, has been found mentally competent to face trial.

At a hearing Monday afternoon here in Fourth District Court, Judge Sam McVey set a July 2 trial date after two evaluations found Dr. MacNeill mentally able to assist with his defense. Questions about his mental state were raised after he attempted suicide inside the Utah County Jail last year.

"I'm just anxious to get this over with and to move on and have all this behind us," said Alexis Somers, Michele MacNeill's daughter.

Defense attorney Randy Spencer sought to delay the trial, telling Judge McVey he had numerous motions pending in the case. The judge insisted that a trial date be set.

Those motions include an accusation that Utah County authorities destroyed an audio recording of an interview with the alleged victim, and a request by Spencer that he be paid.

Somers said it was another attempt to delay the trial.

"This happened seven years ago and there's been delay after delay after delay and Judge McVey sees through some of Randy's stunts," she told FOX 13.

Meanwhile, Utah County prosecutors said they were hoping to proceed with sentencing for Dr. MacNeill over the murder of his wife, Michele. Last hear, he was convicted by a jury of drugging and drowning her inside their home in 2007.

Defense attorneys have filed a motion to arrest judgment, claiming that an inmate witness cut a deal with prosecutors and it should have been disclosed. Prosecutors were confident they would proceed with sentencing.

"We look forward to arguing our case. We've argued it in writing, we'll argue it in court and we're confident that we will prevail," said deputy Utah County Attorney Chad Grunander.