More than 25 years after being convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters, former Army doctor Jeffrey MacDonald gets his first parole hearing, the Charlotte Observer reports. MacDonald, 61, has no plans to admit his guilt, let alone express any remorse. He continues to insist that he’s innocent and that drug-crazed hippies clubbed and stabbed his family in Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1970.
The ex-Green Beret whose story has been the subject of four books, several Web sites, and a top-rated TV miniseries will cast himself as a model prisoner who now has a compelling reason to want to get out of jail: his second wife, who married him almost three years ago and who will be with him at the hearing. Two to four times a week, she makes the 290-mile round trip to the prison to visit him. Bob Stevenson, whose younger sister, Colette, was MacDonald’s murdered wife, will also appear today. He says MacDonald, convicted of butchering his own family, has no right to a new life. Stevenson plans to remind parole officials that today would have been Colette MacDonald’s 62nd birthday. Joining Stevenson to oppose MacDonald’s request is Brian Murtagh, a Justice Department lawyer who helped prosecute him, and Frank Whitney, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.