Local News

Green Beret Convicted Of Family's Murder Plans To Ask For Parole

Posted January 26, 2005

— Decades ago, Green Beret Jeffrey MacDonald was convicted of killing his wife and children on Fort Bragg. MacDonald has been eligible for parole since 1991, but it is the first time he has ever requested parole.

"He has been a model prisoner in every way," said Wade Smith, MacDonald's attorney. "If there were two buttons in front of me and one said, 'He did it,' and one said, 'He didn't,' and I'll die if I press the wrong button, I would press that 'He didn't do it.'"

Former Army investigator and current Hope Mills police Chief John Hodges was called to MacDonald's home on the day of the murders. He said it was the worst scene he had ever seen in 48 years of law enforcement. He said MacDonald does not deserve freedom.

"There's a lot of people in this town who thinks he didn't do it, but I'm not one of them," Hodges said.

MacDonald said a group of hippies broke into his apartment at 544 Castle Drive, injuring him and killing his family.

Although he has been behind bars for 25 years, he is remarried. MacDonald has a

Web site

where he asserts his innocence. In most parole hearings, one standard for release is admission of wrongdoing.

"He can't do that because he has maintained his innocence. That's not something that can be done for him," Smith said.

"I think he is a professional con artist. I think he had a lot of his cohorts conned and the community conned," Hodges said. "He wasn't the All-American boy people think he is."

The U.S. Parole Commission is expected to hold a hearing to consider MacDonald's request sometime next month. Even his attorneys said it is unlikely he will get out this time. He is currently serving three life terms for the murders at a federal prison in Cumberland, Md.

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