John Wall’s ex-wife showed no signs of depression prior to death, family doctor says during trial

Posted at 7:53 PM, Feb 24, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – A crime lab specialist and Uta von Schwedler's family doctors took the stand Tuesday on the fourth day of testimony in the John Wall trial.

A Salt Lake City police crime lab technician told the jury he thoroughly examined Uta von Schwedler's home and did not notice signs of forced entry.

Scott Scriven said he found valuables inside von Schwedler’s home – a laptop, some cash and a cell phone – that appeared to be left in their place, leading him to conclude there was no burglary at the home.

Uta von Schwedler's family doctor Jennifer Bell later testified. She was Uta's physician for more than a decade and knew John Wall when he was a resident at Primary Children's Hospital.

Bell said while she was not particularly close to Wall or von Schwedler, Uta never seemed severely depressed or suicidal. She prescribed von Schwedler a sleeping aid when she was going through her divorce.

Bell also prescribed Uta an anti-depressant when she was having issues at work and with a boyfriend after her divorce. But, she said Uta only took the anti-depressant for four days because she didn't like the side effects.

Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Janzen: "Did she ever indicate to you that she had been diagnosed for severe depression?"

Dr. Jennifer Bell, Uta von Schwedler’s family physician: "I never got that information from her. When you ask the history, it, of course, depends on how you ask it, but when I asked her if she was happy or had been on medication or seen a physician regularly for problems, you expect to pick that out, and she never told me anything about a history of depression."

Uta von Schwedler was found dead in a bathtub in her Sugarhouse home in 2011 with large amounts of Xanax in her system. Dr. Bell told jurors she never prescribed von Schwedler Xanax and she checked medical records and knows of no other doctors who prescribed it.

The defense questioned Bell’s conclusion, asking whether Uta could've been hiding her depression during doctor visits.