State News

Jeffrey MacDonald held in Wilmington for hearing

Posted October 21, 2011 8:27 a.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2011 11:22 a.m. EDT

— The former Army surgeon convicted of killing his pregnant wife and young daughters at Fort Bragg more than 40 years ago is being held in Wilmington awaiting a hearing.

Officials confirmed Friday that 68-year-old Jeffrey MacDonald is being held in the New Hanover County jail.

MacDonald is scheduled for an evidentiary hearing Nov. 28 in Wilmington in his appeal. His lawyers are asking for a new trial based on DNA evidence and if that is denied, they want access to evidence to do their own testing.

"When you take it in the light of the evidence as a whole, there's no doubt you have an innocent man in prison," Kathryn MacDonald, MacDonald's wife since 2002, has said.

MacDonald was convicted in 1979 of killing his wife and two daughters and was sentenced to three life prison terms. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence, claiming that he and his family were attacked by three men and a woman with long blonde hair, a floppy hat and boots who carried a lighted candle and chanted "acid is groovy; kill the pigs."

His case resulted in the book "Fatal Vision."