PROVO -- The murder case against Martin MacNeill has been assigned to a new judge in the 4th District Court.
The motion to disqualify Judge McVey, along with supporting documents, is sealed and not accessible to the Daily Herald, but the motion was granted on Aug. 27 and Judge Derek Pullan was reassigned the case.
According to court documents in the case, the Rule 63(B) motion to disqualify was filed the day prior and a telephone conference with Judge McVey was held on Aug. 27. McVey referred the motion to Presiding 4th District Judge David Mortensen who made the reassignment. According to court documents, the motion was filed by the defense and the Utah County attorney's office opposed the motion.
According to Utah Code, any party in a case can file a motion to disqualify a judge based on bias, prejudice or a conflict of interest.
MacNeill was scheduled to go to trial beginning Oct. 8, but Chad Grunander, prosecuting attorney, says that the trial will likely be pushed back a week to begin on Oct. 15 because Judge Pullan is unavailable the previous week. Grunander says he is hopeful that the change will not push the trial back any further and that the schedule for the trial will remain the same.
Grunander says right now both the defense and the prosecution are working to get Judge Pullan up to speed on the complicated case.
During the last hearing held on August 12th, Judge Samuel McVey denied a motion to disqualify the Utah County Attorney's Office from prosecuting the case.
MacNeill is charged with murder, a first-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, for the death of his wife, Michele, in 2007.