Homicide

Defense forensic expert says death of Utah doctor's ex-wife doesn't look like a murder

  • Johnny Brickman Wall listens to testimony during his murder trial, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in Salt Lake City.  Wall, a former Utah pediatrician, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler, in 2011. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann, Pool)

    Johnny Brickman Wall listens to testimony during his murder trial, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in Salt Lake City. Wall, a former Utah pediatrician, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler, in 2011. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • John Brickman Wall takes notes during testimony during his murder trial in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Wall, a former Utah pediatrician, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler, at her Sugar House home in 2011. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann, Pool)

    John Brickman Wall takes notes during testimony during his murder trial in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Wall, a former Utah pediatrician, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler, at her Sugar House home in 2011. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

A forensic expert testifying in defense of a Utah doctor accused of killing his ex-wife says the woman's death doesn't look like a murder.

Judy Melinek testified Monday that Salt Lake City cancer researcher Uta von Schwedler likely look a large amount of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and cut her own wrist before she drowned in her bathtub.

Prosecutors say 51-year-old pediatrician John Brickman Wall attacked his 49-year-old ex-wife with a knife, dosed her with the drug and killed her during a bitter custody battle in 2011.

But Melinek says von Schwedler's wrist wounds were shallow and cut on a straight line, making them look self-inflicted.

A medical examiner ruled that von Schwedler drowned but stopped short of saying whether the death was a homicide or a suicide.