Convicted Killer MacDonald to Seek Parole
Jan. 18, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ His highly publicized murder case was recounted in a best-selling book, ``Fatal Vision,'' and a television miniseries. Now, for the first time since he became eligible for parole in 1991, former Army doctor Jeffrey MacDonald intends to seek his freedom, a lawyer says.
MacDonald, convicted 25 years ago of the stabbing deaths of his pregnant wife and two daughters, had declined to seek parole because he said he would have to admit guilt for the slayings at the family's Fort Bragg apartment Feb. 17, 1970.
He remarried a few years ago and has more reasons to want a life outside of prison, said his attorney, Tim Junkin of Potomac, Md.
``He doesn't have any kind of change of heart. He's going to try to vindicate himself,'' Junkin said in a telephone interview Monday. ``He knows in his heart he's innocent and will always insist on that.''
Junkin said he didn't know when the request was filed with the U.S. Parole Commission and said he wouldn't disclose when or where the hearing would be held.
Newsweek, which first reported the parole request in its issue this week, said the hearing would be in February. The magazine quoted Christina Masewicz, a retired nurse who has written a book about the case and obtained a federal document confirming the hearing.
MacDonald, 61, is in the federal prison in Cumberland, Md., where he is serving three life terms for the slayings of his wife, Colette, 26, and daughters Kimberley, 6, and Kristen, 2.
He married a longtime friend, Kathryn Kurichh, in 2002.
``He has a fairly new wife. He has a lot of reasons to live for if he could get out of prison,'' Junkin said. ``We have urged him to consider all his options as long as they're not inconsistent with his quest to prove his innocence.''
Junkin said he didn't believe MacDonald had to admit guilt to be paroled.
Colette MacDonald's brother, Bob Stevenson, said Monday he would attend the parole hearing to testify against MacDonald.
``I don't want Jeffrey MacDonald ever to walk the streets again,'' said Stevenson, 65, who lives outside New York City. ``I hope to do everything I can for the remainder of my life to see that he does not get out.''
MacDonald was assigned to Special Forces at the time his family was slain. He claimed the killers stabbed and clubbed his family to death while one chanted, ``Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs.''
The Army said it didn't have enough evidence to try MacDonald, and he went free for years. A federal court jury in Raleigh convicted MacDonald of the killings in 1979 after the Justice Department reopened the case.
In 1997, a federal appeals court rejected MacDonald's effort to reopen his case on the basis of his claim the FBI allegedly misled the courts about fiber evidence.