Attorneys Spar Over Evidence Allowed at Upcoming Utah Murder Trial

By Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

Jan 26, 2015

With just over three weeks until his murder trial is scheduled to begin, a former Utah pediatrician accused of killing his ex­wife was in court Friday as attorneys argued whether his statements made during a six­hour disposition in a civil case can be used against him.

John Brickman Wall, 51, has pleaded not guilty to first­degree felony counts of murder and aggravated burglary in connection to Uta von Schwedler’s 2011 death. But before the murder charge was filed against Wall in April 2013, he was involved in a civil lawsuit with his teenage son, Pelle von Schwedler Wall. The father sued Pelle Wall for possession of scrapbooks made by his late mother, and the now­ 21­ year ­old son filed a wrongful death counterclaim, claiming that his father gave von Schwedler a
lethal dose of a controlled substance and drowned her in a bathtub.

In March 2013, John Wall testified for over six hours in a civil disposition at the Salt Lake City courthouse. Prosecutors in the murder case want portions of the testimony admitted at Wall’s upcoming trial. But John Wall’s attorneys argued in court papers admittance of the testimony “turns on the question of whether the civil wrongful death suit was filed and [Wall’s] deposition taken for the purpose of obtaining evidence for criminal prosecution.”

Third District Judge James Blanch ruled Friday that while there was no reason for the deposition to be barred from trial for “hearsay grounds” or violations of John Wall’s constitutional amendments, defense attorneys could object to the evidence at trial under grounds of relevance or other legal rules.

<< click here to


Doctor Wants DNA Evidence Left Out of Murder Case

By Lindsay Whitehurst

Associated Press

November 10, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawyers for a Salt Lake City pediatrician accused of killing his ex-wife asked a judge Monday to toss DNA evidence gathered from skin cells found underneath her fingernails and on a pillowcase.

An attorney for John Brickman Wall, 50, said investigators found about three skin cells — not enough to draw any conclusions. A prosecutor conceded the evidence doesn’t point directly to Wall, but said it does eliminate nine other possible suspects.

The DNA on the pillowcase could have come from any one of the couple’s four children, according to Elizabeth Johnson, an expert testifying for the defense during a hearing Monday who said her calculations show it didn’t come from Wall. Prosecutors disputed that.

The DNA is a key piece of evidence in the case, which was filed more than a year after the death of 49-year-old Uta Von Schwedler, a biologist at the University of Utah.

>>> CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article!

Three Years. A Note from Anna von Schwedler

3 years?

3 years!

So much happened in the last 3 years that Uta couldn’t experience any more.

And why?

How crazy can a man be to destroy someone’s life and therefore change the life of his own family?

Justice will come.

Uta, I am thinking of you every day!


Sept. 27th 2014

canned apricots in Uta’s garden

^^ This is a photo that Uta sent me of her canned apricots from her garden all in a row. So typical of Uta.

Uta wearing her son's hat

Uta wearing her son’s hat (2010)

Uta and two of her children in a castle in Germany

Uta and two of her children in a castle in Germany 2008

^^ also very typical of Uta. She was always carrying sweets in her bag and offering them to others


 [ German version ]

3 Jahre?

3 Jahre!

3 Jahre, in denen so viel passiert ist, was Uta nicht mehr miterleben konnte.

Warum nur?

Wie verrückt muss man sein, um ein anderes Leben zu zerstören und mit dem Mord auch das Leben der eigenen Familie grundlegend zu verändern?

Es wird Gerechtigkeit geben.

Uta, ich denke jeden Tag an dich!



New here? Watch the 48 Hours Episode about Uta

48 Hours

The untimely death of Uta von Schwedler shocked her family and friends. Some called it a suicide, while others knew it was a murder. This CBS 48 Hours show follows the story of Uta’s eldest son (Pelle Wall) and his fight for justice for his mother. After suspecting his father for months — at the young age of eighteen — Pelle finally left his home, moved in with a new family, and together they began an arduous quest to prove Pelle’s father’s guilt and rescue his three younger siblings from harms way. 

click HERE to watch the full episode, web-exclusive clips, and more.

(originally aired in April 2014)


Trial Set for Utah Doctor Accused of Killing Wife

A Utah pediatrician accused of killing his ex-wife and leaving her dead in her bathtub will stand trial in February.

The four-week jury trial scheduled for John Brickman Wall has been set, a judge assigned.

read more about it HERE 

Uta von Schwedler’s family and friends are pleased that a final trial date has been set and are hopeful for a swift outcome.

Testimony: Police lied to doctor when ex-wife died

June 13, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah pediatrician initially told police he could not recall where he was on the night in September 2011 when his ex-wife was found dead in her bathtub, a detective testified Friday.

In response, police yelled and lied to 50-year-old John Brickman Wall because he would not answer their questions, Salt Lake police Detective Michael Hardin said.

Hardin said at a hearing in the murder case that he and Detective Tracy Ita told Wall a neighbor had seen him leave the home the night of his ex-wife’s death; police could trace his whereabouts by tracking his cellphone; and DNA linked him to the scene.

“Your DNA is under her fingernails,” Hardin recalled saying during the interview.

Defense attorney Fred Metos has said he wants the “somewhat incriminating” statements made by Wall under the psychological and physical coercion to be kept from the upcoming trial.

read more here >>

Attorney says cops’ lies should scratch remarks in von Schwedler case

The lawyer for homicide suspect John Brickman Wall says detectives’ lies and other interview tactics went too far the night Wall’s ex-wife Uta von Schwedler’s body was found in her bathtub.

“They weren’t being truthful to where they were being coercive,” attorney G. Fred Metos said.

In a hearing Friday, Metos sought to keep statements Wall made to police out of his trial, saying he was manipulated by officers investigating von Schwedler’s 2011 death. It’s the second hearing to determine whether the statements should be admitted at trial. Wall, 50, is charged with first-degree felony charges of murder and aggravated burglary. He has pleaded not guilty.

Judge Denise Lindberg will review written arguments on whether to admit Wall’s interview statements and rule Sept. 15. Then she’ll transfer the case to a new judge. Lindberg’s pending retirement will prevent her from presiding over the trial, which may not occur until 2015.

read more here >>

A Birthday Note

By Almut von Schwedler (Uta’s sister)

Uta and children

Happy Birthday Uta.

This year I am going to turn 50 but you were afraid of getting older. I do not mind it as much. The last 2 and a half years have taught me more and amongst it how to enjoy every day and make the best of what we have and embrace what is there to come. Age included..

The picture from our holiday in Spain from 2010, which was the last time you visited Europe with your children, is one of my favourite photos of you. I love you being surrounded by your children and that is how I experienced you mostly. I know you also followed many interests but your children were the most important.

How significant is it that 48 hours aired on the eve of your birthday. Although not having watched the program yet at my home, I read through hundreds of comments from viewers. I could not agree more with the majority of impressions: how amazing Pelle has turned out to be and how he has acted, what he stands for and equally admirable is the dedication the Oglesby Tribe has displayed to offer Liam, Ilona and Malkie a chance of a normal and happy life.

Personally distressing for me are the comments that you had deserted the family, you mistreated and abused the kids only to follow your own interests and affairs. How wrong are these people? I suppose it was to be expected.

We know better; we know what you stood for and what you lived for. Your time, love and interests were shared out more evenly than anyone else could to more family, friends, colleagues, neighbours etc. Even I was overwhelmed about the outpouring of condolences from around the world when you left us. And I really thought I knew you well. I mentioned this many months ago: you exhausted so many of us with your energy and joy of life.

We will all be fine in the future; the children will always have people all over the world to go to who loved and cherished you and who can tell them stories about your life with them.

But we will continue to miss you: quirky, red haired, exercise crazy, and weirdly dressed as you were. April 13th will continue to be devoted to you ( and to Marissa Oglesby)



April 13th: Uta’s 52nd Birthday

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By Anna von Schwedler

click here to read the German version

Today my sister Uta would be 52 years old.  Nearly two and a half year have passed since her death and for nearly a year the man who we suspected from the beginning for murdering her, sits in prison. Yesterday there was the CBS show: 48 hours shown in the American TV about the “Uta case”. A son’s mission. A very American title, but it will hopefully reach a big audience.

There was a big effort in spreading the airing of the show by the email list “Friends of Uta”, the “Uta von Schwedler Memorial Page on Facebook” and the website “ Justice for Uta”. Thank you very much to everyone who helped us since Sept. 27th  2011 that the injustice which happened to Uta will not be forgotten. Special thanks to Pelle and Amy, Nils, Heidi and Jessica.

For the last 20 months the team from 48 hours was interested and working on this case. There were several visits to Salt Lake City, they talked to many people there, intruded Amy’s kitchen and filmed the family. Out of many hours of film material they put together this film and especially the short-takes of the running water in the bathtub are phenomenal. I got very emotional just by watching the preview clips on the internet.

When the whole family and many friends met shortly after Uta’s death in Salt Lake City for the memorial, I would never have thought about the dimension this case would take. We still had the faith, that the police will do their job (although I already had some doubt) and that the murderer, -a suicide was beyond anyone’s belief who knew Uta- , would soon be behind bars (Swedish curtains in colloquial German). But unfortunately we were definitely wrong!

Nearly every day I got new information about what happened in Salt Lake or what sadly did not happen there. The worst thing was that the police tried several times to lay the case down because they declared Uta’s death a suicide. It was unbelievable for us that Johnny was still a free man who went on threatening and abusing his children emotionally because they still lived with him unprotected.

I think, in my whole life I was never so mad and at the same time felt so helpless like in this first year after Uta’s death.

The press began to speak about the case when Uta’s 1 year memorial was held at her house, and some movement came into the case. In the meantime and out of fear of the children’s safety still living in Johnny’s house, Pelle and his lawyer Margaret got a court motion to remove the two underage children Liam and Ilona out of his house, but only until early February 2013. With the publicity’s interest in the “respectable pediatrician” murdering his ex-wife the police started the investigations again, supported by Margaret and Pelle.

I was more than reluctant when Amy informed Almut and me nearly live about the arrest of Johnny my time afternoon on April 25th  2013.

What happened since then:

Johnny B. Wall is in prison as a suspect (not for us) for homicide and hopefully will be convicted guilty and stay there for a really long time. First there were court motions about reducing his bail, then in August the court decided to give the temporarily custody for Liam and Ilona to Amy and John Oglesby, which was also a great relief for us.

Three days in October the district attorney presented witnesses (thanks to Klaus) and crime scene photos, to prove the rightness of the prosecution against John Wall.

What a relief to know and not a big surprise that he will be charged.

At the moment there is still a motion in the court, whether one of Johnny’s lawyers will be accepted and whether his statements at his interrogation at the police may be used. This is the reason why there is no date fixed for the beginning of the trial yet.

But when the trial will begin, my family and me will be sitting in the court room and follow it. Johnny’s sister Wendy Wall claims in the 48 hours show, that Johnny is not guilty and loved his family. The latter may be right, but at least since the days when he was depressive, the love for himself was much bigger than to anyone else. Egocentricity and narcissism may be easily mistaken for love when the children are only a means to the satisfaction of his own needs.

I am against the death penalty. When Johnny will receive a life sentence, he will have much more time to think about his “pretended” love for his children. He cannot follow his children in their school life, not seeing them growing up to young adults, not going to school balls or graduations with them, not helping with choosing a college or being at their university graduation. He will never get to know the friends of them, not going to their weddings or hold a grandchild in his arms. He took all this possibilities from my sister Uta, now he won’t have them himself. That is the miserable life that he blamed Uta for before. Now he has that miserable life and the only one to blame for and who is guilty for destroying 2 lives his is himself.

This is just fair for me!!!!

Pelle, Malkie, Liam and Ilona have a great number of supporters in their lives, they have a Oma, who can support them financially, they have aunts and uncles, cousins, to whom they can talk to or fly to anytime they want. And they have a big adoptive family, who took them into their lives and hearts and just want the best for them.

Does Johnny have all that?

Together we will manage that the children will grow up to happy and content adults, even with the background of a murderer as a father.

It is Uta’s legacy to make friends and bring together so many different people. My way of looking into life changed a lot the last years.

Thank you to EVERYONE who went this long way with us and will also stand at our sides in the future.


Heidelberg, April, 13th 2014


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Holle, Anna and Uta with their children, Germany 1996 uta 3

Holle, Uta, Sophie, and Almut. Easter Island, March 2008