SALT LAKE CITY -- A Salt Lake City pediatrician charged with the murder of his ex-wife was evasive during police interrogations and had developed hatred for the mother of his four children, witnesses testified Tuesday during a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to send John Brickman Wall to trial.
Witnesses also testified that Uta Von Schwedler, a University of Utah biologist found dead in her bathtub two years ago, was not suicidal before her death.
The medical examiner ruled that the Von Schwedler, 49, died in September 2011 from drowning as well as fatal amount of Xanax.
Police called the death suspicious but waited nearly 18 months to arrest and charge Wall, 49, who sat next to his attorneys Tuesday in a prison jumpsuit taking notes during the all-day hearing, which will continue today.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Robin Reese will decide if there is sufficient evidence to send Wall to trial.
Wall, who has been in jail on $1.5 million bond since his April arrest, has maintained his innocence.
The most explosive testimony of the day came from Salt Lake Police Detective Mike Hardin, who recounted his interrogation of Wall hours after Von Schwedler's body was found in her Salt Lake City house.
Hardin said Wall couldn't tell him where he was that night or even when he had last seen his ex-wife or been to his house.
At one point during the three-hour interview, Hardin said he began yelling at Wall in a tiny interrogation room, and Wall blurted out, "I wasn't there, I wasn't there. I don't know, I don't know. I don't know where I was."
Wall didn't cry during the interview and told Hardin he he had been self-medicating himself for depression. Wall denied killing Von Schwedler that night and was released.
In a terse cross examination Tuesday, Wall's attorney, Fred Metos, grilled Hardin about his interrogation techniques, suggesting the officer intimated Wall by yelling at him and telling him lies.
Hardin acknowleged that he lied to Wall by telling him they had a witness who saw him at the scene and that they had his DNA on Von Schwedler's fingernails.
Pressed about the lies, Hardin said he was comfortable with the lies considering Wall's refusal to tell him his whereabouts that night.
Earlier in the hearing Tuesday, a family friend of the couple and Von Schwedler's boyfriend testified that she was not suicidal leading up to her death and that Wall had grown increasingly angry with his ex-wife.
"He was very much against Uta. Everything Uta did caused a problem for him," said Klaus Fiebig, a childhood friend of Wall who also became a close friend to Von Schwedler.
During his last in-person meeting with Wall in January 2011, Fiebig said, "I thought he was very much full of hate."
During that visit, Fiebig said Wall asked him, "Would it be bad if Uta wasn't here anymore?"
In contrast, Fiebig said Von Schwedler seemed happy during that same visit, albeit frustrated with the contentious relationship with Wall.
After the couple divorced in 2006, they become ensnarled in a custody battle over their four children. They were hardly able to talk near the end, he said.
Nils Abramson, Von Schwedler's boyfriend of about two years who found her body, said his girlfriend was an outgoing, gregarious woman who had great relationships with friends. She was not depressed and had never talked about committing suicide.
Asked by a state attorney if Von Schwedler had any enemies, Abramson said the only person he could think of was Wall.
Abramson acknowledged during cross-examination that he had never met Wall before Von Schwedler's death and only knew of him from what she had told him and from the emails he shared with her.
Abramson said it was unusual that her daughter's scrapbook was found with her body in the bathtub. He said these handmade scrapbooks were her prized possession, kept in safe places at all times.
The oldest son of Wall and Von Schwedler sat in the gallery watching the proceedings.
Pelle Wall, 19, fueled speculation about his dad being a suspect even before the arrest by saying he believed his father did it and asking the court to remove his two youngest siblings from his father's custody.
He testified during a bail hearing this summer that his father is a dangerous man who should not be released from jail.
He is not expected to testify this week.