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Utah doctor convicted of killing wife after cosmetic surgery denied new trial

A Utah doctor convicted in November of killing his wife won't get a new trial, a judge ruled Friday.

Martin MacNeill argued cellmates lied when they testified that he confessed to the killing to them, but jurors said publicly they considered the inmates untrustworthy and disregarded their testimony.

Authorities said Martin MacNeill gave his wife drugs prescribed after cosmetic surgery and left her to drown in the bathtub of their home so he could begin a new life with his mistress.

The case shocked the Mormon community of Pleasant Grove, 35 miles south of Salt Lake City, and captured national attention because the defendant was a wealthy doctor and a lawyer, a father of eight in a picture-perfect family and former bishop in his local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

MacNeill maintained his innocence, and his attorneys tried to prove she could have died of natural causes. A judge denied his motion for a new trial on Friday.

MacNeill faces 15 years to life in prison. A new hearing was set for Sept. 2.

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