State News

Hearing on DNA in 'Fatal Vision' case set for August

Posted July 2, 2012 7:52 p.m. EDT
Updated July 2, 2012 8:42 p.m. EDT

Jeffrey MacDonald (Photo courtesy of Kathryn MacDonald)

— A hearing on new DNA testing in the "Fatal Vision" murder case at Fort Bragg more than 40 years ago has been rescheduled for August.

Jeffrey MacDonald was convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters in 1970. He is serving a federal prison sentence for the murders.

His lawyers say he deserves a new trial because of unidentified DNA recovered from the scene and allegations that a prosecutor coerced a witness into lying. The forensic technology to test DNA did not exist in the 1970s.

MacDonald 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."

The case inspired the true crime book "Fatal Vision."

Defense attorneys want to depose several witnesses, but prosecutors have said the depositions will be too costly and time-consuming. 

The evidentiary hearing will be held Aug. 20 in Wilmington.