It's a tragic case of a family divided and one where you wonder if the jury got it right.
The eldest son of a Utah doctor was delighted this week when his father, John Brickman Wall, was sentenced to 15 years for killing his mother Uta. Three of his children believe he's innocent but the eldest son Pelle spent almost his entire mother's inheritance on lawyers, determined to bring his father to trial.
Pelle believed that his father attacked his mother, gave her a large dose of Xanax and drowned her in her bath. He said his father's portrayal of himself as a victim was despicable. "He's convinced himself of an alternate reality" he said. "It's disrespectful to true victims and I can't reconcile it."
It was largely a circumstantial case. Defense attorneys insisted Uta killed herself but the circumstantial evidence was damning. The day her body was found, John Wall went to a car wash early in the morning and had the interior cleaned, including a pinkish stain, according to prosecutors. He also came to work that day with a scratch on his face and an injury to his eye and said the family dog has scratched him while he slept.
Prosecutors also said that Uta was winning her court case to get more custody of her children and had recently made an exciting discovery at work that could help find new treatments for childhood leukemia.
Pelle's sister Wendy Wall said the man depicted during the trial bears no resemblance to the brother she knows because her father was loving and never violent. She was in court with other family members but left without making any comment.
Pelle Wall said he knows his father well and saw how he behaved toward his mother after she left him and during a messy divorce involving child custody. He hated her, he said.
Meanwhile John Brickman Wall has consistently maintained his innocence throughout.