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Appeals court wants more details of DNA in 'Fatal Vision' case

Posted May 6, 2010

— A federal appeals court on Thursday asked prosecutors and attorneys for a former Army doctor convicted in the 1970 slayings of his pregnant wife and two daughters to submit more information on DNA evidence in the case.

Jeffrey MacDonald, 66, is serving three life terms for the murders in a Fort Bragg home that spawned the book and television miniseries "Fatal Vision." He has always maintained that four drug-crazed hippies killed his family.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March heard arguments on whether to allow him to introduce new evidence, including DNA tests and sworn statements by two people who are now dead, which he says supports his claim of innocence.

In 1997, the appeals court ordered DNA testing in the case. Defense lawyers say a hair was found under the fingernail of one of his daughters and contend that DNA helps prove the theory of intruders.

U.S. District Court judges have refused to review the DNA results on procedural grounds, but the appellate court ruled that it would consider the DNA tests and whether the original prosecutor threatened a witness during the 1979 trial.

Briefs from both sides are due June 15.


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  • johnsod27330 May 7, 2010

    I think He is guilty and exactly where he belongs. There is something interesting about the DNA tests that the defense is not saying. FOr years they claimed the hair (With root intact indicating it was forcibly removed) found cluctched in Colettes hand belonged to the killer and was grabbed during her struggle. DNA testing showed that hair belonged to you know who (Jeffrey MacDonald). Now the defense says sure its his because he was laying near her when found. The second thing the defense doesn't say is that no where in the lapnotes or tests does it say that they positively identified a hair under one of the girls nails. It was a fragment and could have been there for a while. Secondly it does not belong to anyone that MacDonald has accused of being involved in the case. I suggest those interested go the this website: http://fayobserver.com/articles/2010/05/06/997050

    There you will find transcripts, evidence, labnotes etc.

  • shortcake53 May 7, 2010

    I firmly believed in his guilt then and still do.

  • See Chart May 6, 2010

    He just won't give up but what else does he have
    to do with his time in prison?,here though for this accused
    murderer ,prison over the years seems not like a punishment.

    It was brought up in trial that Psychopathic murderers never think they did the crime ,it's a real split personality that they can jump to on & off yes they are "crazy", makes me hope and as a convinced person that he did murder his family that he not ever be released.Someone has to speak up for his dead wife and children ,"The Hippy's did it" ala Charles Manson? does not
    hold much water for me.
    It was proved beyond a doubt that as
    a medical Dr. he knew how to stab himself to look like he was
    attacked,what part of stabbing your self don't people understand? Read the trial transcript.