Friend of John Wall, his former employees testify in murder trial

Posted at 9:44 PM, Feb 25, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – Wednesday in the Dr. John Wall trial, the friend who introduced Wall to his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler, testified and employees from Wall's former medical practice also took the stand.

They said they heard the former pediatrician make references that indicated he wished his ex-wife was no longer around.

Klaus Fiebig was Wall’s childhood friend and introduced him to his future wife von Schwedler. The two married in 1990. Fiebig testified the two started fighting when they moved from California to Salt Lake City for Wall's residency.

The couple divorced in 2006. Fiebig said Wall blamed von Schwedler for ruining his life. Fiebig said Johnny initiated a lot of the fights, which centered mostly around the couple’s four children.

Uta was found dead in her bathtub in 2011 and Wall was arrested and charged with her murder. After von Schwedler's memorial service, Fiebig said Johnny still seemed to be fixated on his hatred toward his ex-wife.

"He just could not stop about how much he hated Uta,” Fiebig said. “And so this whole thing just didn't stop. He was still fixated on explaining to me all the bad things that Uta had done, and that's sort of where this whole thing eroded, in my mind.”

In her testimony, Wall's former medical assistant Christina Gardner-Smith testified that Wall made references to wishing his ex-wife would disappear, including joking about hiring a hit man.

Prosecuting attorney: "What would he say?"

Christina Gardner-Smith: "What if I moved, how would things go if I moved to California, or how would my life be if she weren't around?"

His former office manager, Kathy Newman, said Wall acted strangely following Uta's death.

Prosecuting attorney: “How was he different than before he left?"

Newman: "I would say a little more paranoid, a little skittish, just the talks we had or conversations, he kind of was feeling like a victim with everything going on."

The defense questioned Newman about Dr. Wall's behavior, arguing that it could've been attributed to his personality and the daily stresses of being a doctor.

Defense attorney: "And then after that, you say, I've been here for four years and he's never been an organized person or real focused. Is that accurate?"

Newman: "That would be accurate."

Defense attorney: "OK is that an accurate description then to say that you didn't know him to be an organized person?"

Newman: "Within those walls, yes."