Sentencing has been postponed for former Utah pediatrician Johnny Wall who was convicted in March for the murder of his ex-wife. On September 27th 2011, cancer researcher Uta von Schwedler was found drowned in her bathtub with high levels of Xanax in her system and lacerations to her body. What was originally thought to be a suicide was later determined to be murder.
Son testifies against father
Although it was previously assumed that Schwedler had committed suicide, the son of Wall and Schwedler was suspicious of his father’s involvement in his mother’s death. He testified of Wall’s growing animosity toward Schwedler and was convinced she had no signs of depression that would lead to suicide. The son who was just 17 years old at the time of his mother’s death, pleaded with authorities to further investigate his father. In April 2013 Johnny Wall was arrested and charged with the murder of Uta von Schwedler.
Convicted by a Jury
2 years after his arrest, Johnny Wall’s case went to trial. After over 6 hours of deliberation, Wall was convicted with first-degree murder by a twelve person jury in March 2015. Following the hearing, jurors stated a few reasons behind their vote: the suicide scene that appeared staged, Wall’s questionable interviews with police, and testimonies from the son about Wall’s post-divorce bitterness toward Schwedler.
Not always as cut-and-dried as it seems
Wall’s attorney requested the delay of sentencing amid protests from Schwedler’s family. Although he declined to give any information as to the approach to be made in the appeal, previous arguments from the defense debated the farfetched story of a staged suicide and lack of evidence at the scene. The new sentencing date is set for July 2015.
A person facing first-degree murder is looking at a high probability of life in prison. Before carrying out such a sentence, there shouldn’t be a shadow of a doubt of the convicted person’s guilt. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know this and work hard to ensure a fair trial.