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Woman linked to murder case given bail on probation violation

By Jim Dalrymple - Daily Herald - | Jul 18, 2012

PROVO — Less than two weeks after her arrest, a woman convicted of identity theft and who also may be entangled in a murder investigation will have a chance to go free.

A judge ruled Tuesday afternoon that Gypsy Willis, 35, qualified for $5,000 bail. The ruling was made after defense attorney John Easton argued that the probation violations that landed Willis back in jail were extremely minor, if they were violations at all.

“This probation violation report has some of the most benign allegations I’ve seen,” Easton told the court.

Willis was arrested July 6 for allegedly not keeping her address current with probation officers and for not being honest about having a silver BMW. She was serving probation as a result of her 2011 conviction on four felonies for identity fraud, making false statements and having a wrongful lien.

The convictions stemmed from a case that also involves former Pleasant Grove doctor Martin MacNeill. According to court documents, MacNeill and Willis stole the identity of one of MacNeill’s daughters. MacNeill was convicted on federal charges for the crime, and spent three years in prison before being released on July 7.

MacNeill also is the subject of an investigation being conducted by the Utah County prosecutor’s office. The investigation aims to determine if he killed his wife in 2007, shortly after she had plastic surgery. Previous court documents have stated that MacNeill had the capacity and motive to kill his wife.

Despite the investigation, prosecutors have not said if they plan to file charges or, if they do, what those charges may be. Willis herself has not been named as a possible suspect in any potential murder.

In the meantime, however, after Willis posts bail both she and MacNeill will likely be simultaneously free for the first time in years. Willis’s next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14 and will determine if she actually violated her probation.


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