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Press Release

Court Denies Jeffrey Macdonald’s Motions For A New Trial

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox has denied Jeffrey MacDonald’s latest motions for a new trial. United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker stated, “Today our thoughts turn toward Colette, Kimberly and Kristen MacDonald whose lives were taken tragically by the defendant in this case.  We have and will continue to seek justice on their behalf.” 

United States District Judge James C. Fox entered an order on July 24, 2014, denying MacDonald’s motions and stating that MacDonald had not made a sufficient showing to permit him to appeal Judge Fox’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, VA. If MacDonald wishes to appeal, he will now have to ask the Fourth Circuit for permission to appeal the ruling.  

MacDonald was convicted in 1979 of the 1970 murders of his pregnant wife Collette, and his two daughters Kimberly, age 5, and Kristen, age 2, at Fort Bragg, NC.  Since then, MacDonald has filed numerous challenges to his conviction, all unsuccessful.  The latest motions were based on allegations made in 2006 by former U.S. Deputy Marshal Jimmy Britt and DNA test results released in 2006.  The District Court found that Britt’s allegations were “incredible and unreliable.”  The Court also found that the DNA results did not “constitute exculpatory scientific evidence.”

The Court held a 7-day evidentiary hearing in September 2012 and received extensive briefing in 2013.

The Court stated a separate order would be forthcoming with respect to MacDonald’s 2011 motion requesting additional DNA testing.

The Government is represented in the matter by First Assistant U.S. Attorney John Stuart Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie K. Cooley, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian M. Murtagh.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Army Criminal Investigative Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated July 14, 2015