Nightly News   |  November 09, 2013

Doctor convicted of murdering beauty queen wife

A jury only took hours to convict a Provo, Utah doctor and former Mormon Church official in connection with his wife’s 2007 death. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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>> you.

>> thank you.

>>> in utah today the end of a sensational trial. it took a jury only hours to convict a doctor who was once a prominent mormon church official of murdering his wife so he could carry on an affair with his mistress. details tonight from mike taibbi .

>> reporter: the 2007 death of 50-year-old former beauty queen michelle mcneil was never ruled a homicide. a jury in the month-long trial of her husband dr. martin mcneil called it first-degree murder.

>> we the jury having reviewed the evidence and testimony in the case find the defendant guilty. [ screaming ]

>> we are just so happy he can't hurt anyone else.

>> reporter: mcneil , a provo doctor and former mormon bishop said he wasn't home when his wife, overcome by painkillers after plastic surgery he insisted she undergo, drowned in the bathtub. he called it an accident. his demeanor was oddly panicked for a doctor.

>> fallen in the bathtub.

>> who's in the bathtub?

>> my wife!

>> okay. is she conscious?

>> she's not. she's not. i'm a physician.

>> reporter: it wasn't until his own doctors pressed their suspicions for five years that mcneil was charged with murder. they said the motive, to continue an affair with gypsy willis, his long time mistress. they said their father pretended willis was a stranger he had just met.

>> remember, i love you more than you love me.

>> reporter: before hiring as the family's live-in nanny just days after his wife's murder. after the verdict, relief.

>> i can't believe this is finally happened. we're so grateful.

>> reporter: a prominent physician, once a family man with eight children, now facing a possible sentence of life in prison . mike taibbi , nbc news, los angeles .