Prosecution rests case in John Wall murder trial, defense disputes allegations of forced overdose

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-05 23:43:03-05

SALT LAKE CITY – The prosecution rested its case Thursday, giving the defense a chance to make its arguments that Uta von Schwedler's death was accidental or a suicide. The defense argues there's no evidence to support John Wall forced his ex-wife to overdose on Xanax.

“I submit that the evidence indicates that when you look at the stipulation relating to the effects of Xanax, the loss of coordination, the loss of motor skills, the time it would take for Xanax to take effect in a body, would make it unreasonable to find that this was, in fact, a homicide," argued Defense Attorney Fred Metos.

On Thursday, the defense called a private investigator to the stand. Richard Montanez said he looked into the possibility that von Schwedler may have obtained Xanax illegally through a website. Prosecutors asked if he had any evidence to support that argument.

Matthew Janzen, Prosecuting Attorney: “Did you receive any records with regards to whether she had any type of criminal record or did things illegal?”

Richard Montanez, Private Investigator: “I don't know anything about a background."

Matthew Janzen, Prosecuting Attorney: "So, you don't have any proof that she would commit such a crime like this?"

Richard Montanez, Private Investigator: “The only thing I had was police reports involved in this case."

The defense acknowledged Dr. Wall obtained a prescription for Xanax. But they submitted a statement from Wall's father, who says the drug was sent to his mother, months before his ex-wife was found dead.

“In May 2011, Johnny Wall prescribed medication, which John Wall [Sr.] believes to be Xanax for Joyce [Wall]. Johnny Wall obtained the medication in Salt Lake City, Utah and mailed it to Joyce and John K. Wall in Malibu, California in the Spring of 2011,” Third District Court Judge James Blanch read in a statement.

After the jury was dismissed Thursday, the defense made a motion to dismiss the case. The judge ruled, after hearing the prosecution’s evidence, the state met its burden of proof and the trial will go forward.