First up was her old friend Jim Finn, who described how Melanie told him Bill was dead. "I felt like I was the director saying action and she went 'He's dead.' It sounded phony to me," Finn testified.
Finn had been in love with Melanie since nursing school, a feeling she never returned. Of his testimony, Melanie commented in her diary, "Finn was just so sanctimonious and self-righteous."
In his secretly recorded phone conversations, Finn pumped Melanie for information.
But then, Tacopina dug a little deeper and exposed Finn's real reason for interrogating his friend. "You felt betrayed when you found out that the woman you were madly in love with was having an affair with a doctor that she worked with. Correct?" the defense attorney asked.
"That's correct, Sir," Finn replied on the stand.
Next on the stand was her ex-lover, Dr. Bradley Miller. It was the first time in two years that Melanie came face-to-face with Miller, whom the prosecution claims was a motive for murder.
On the stand, Miller testified that his relationship got more intimate with Melanie when she was 38 weeks pregnant.
What was Melanie thinking?
"I'm thinking, 'Here is somebody who thinks the sun rises and sets over me anyway,'" she tells Maher.
Miller also testified that he was in love with Melanie at the time and that she had also told him she loved him. "Just to hear him get up there and say how much he had loved me," Melanie commented in her diary on Miller's testimony. "I just died all over again."
"We were hoping to be together in the future, to buy a house and have kids together," Miller testified.
It became even more painful as she listened to his secret tape recordings in court.
On cross examination, Tacopina used Dr. Miller's own words to poke holes in the state's theory that Melanie murdered her husband to be with him. "Never once not before the death of her husband or after, did she ever ask you to leave you wife, correct?" Tacopina asked.
"No she did not," Miller replied.
He also testified that he had made it clear to Melanie that he was not planning to leave his wife anytime soon.
After two days on the stand, Miller returned to his new home in Michigan, with his wife, his children and his job at another fertility clinic.
After five weeks of prosecution testimony, the defense got its turn.
Tacopina came out of the gate confident, saying the state not only failed to find the murder weapon, a motive, or an accomplice, it also failed to prove its own theory that Melanie shot and dismembered Bill in their apartment.
"Impossible for that crime to have occurred in that apartment without there being a piece of evidence," Tacopina told jurors. "Impossible for a neighbor not to hear gun shots. Impossible for neighbors not to hear a reciprocating saw sawing through bone."
Impossible, says Tacopina, for this loving nurse, mother and friend, to commit such a ghoulish crime.
A parade of fiercely loyal friends and patients took the stand to drive home that point.
But would the jury get to see that side of Melanie?
"I need to be prepared to testify. If I were a juror I would want to hear it from me," Melanie said in her video diary. "But I understand the concerns that the attorneys have which is why? You've already been cross examined by two people you loved and trusted. It's just -- surreality -- is a little much today."
In the end, Melanie did not take the stand.
After seven weeks and more than 70 witnesses, closing arguments began.
"They saw what they wanted to see; they heard what they wanted to hear. No one but Melanie McGuire, no one was investigated besides Melanie McGuire," Tacopina told the court.
Not even those shady characters Bill supposedly angered in Atlantic City, the defense attorney said. "He was a big gambler, ladies and gentlemen," Tacopina said. "He gambled beyond his means. There's no question about that."
But Prezioso said Bill's only real enemy is sitting in the defendant's chair. "Don't let drama, don't let looks, keep you from doing what may be an unpleasant task," Prezioso told jurors.