- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

PROVO, Utah (AP) - A competency hearing has been scheduled for the Utah doctor convicted of killing his wife as he faces charges of sexual abuse in a separate case.

Court records show 4th District Judge Samuel McVey set the hearing for Tuesday to determine if a mental assessment is warranted for Martin MacNeill.

Utah County jail officials say MacNeill tried to kill himself in December with the blade of a disposable razor.

His lawyer, Randall Spencer, argued Thursday that MacNeill’s condition is deteriorating from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

MacNeill was convicted Nov. 9 of over-medicating his wife Michele MacNeill after a face-lift and leaving her to die in a bathtub in April 2007.

Prosecutors say Martin MacNeill put his hand down the pants of another woman a month later. The Associated Press doesn’t normally identify alleged victims of sexual crimes.

Spencer has filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss charges of forcible sex abuse and tampering with a witness - prosecutors say MacNeill tried to get the woman to recant her allegations.

Spencer also is seeking orders disqualifying Utah County prosecutors from the case and moving the Feb. 4 trial outside Utah County because of extensive media coverage of his murder trial.

In addition, Spencer is trying to overturn MacNeill’s jury conviction for murder and obstruction of justice. He argues MacNeill was largely convicted on perjured testimony from cell mates who testified the doctor admitted to the murder or bragged that investigators couldn’t prove he did it.

A hearing on that motion has been set for Feb. 20.



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