Closing statements in a Federal hearing for Jeffrey MacDonald begin this morning in Wilmington. WHQR’s Sara Wood reports they conclude more than a week’s worth of testimonies from old and new witnesses more than 40 years after MacDonald’s family was murdered in Fort Bragg.
Yesterday’s testimony centered on Helena Stockeley, one of the central figures in this decades-long murder case. For years, accounts of Stockley’s admission of involvement in the murders has waived back and forth. Stoeckley died in 1983. MacDonald’s defense team called Jerry Leonard to the stand, who served as Stoeckley’s attorney during MacDonald’s trial in 1979. Leonard testified Stoeckley at first denied involvement, but later told him she was present at the MacDonald’s home during the night of the murders, though she did not participate. For more than 40 years, MacDonald continues to maintain his innocence, claiming intruders came into his home and murdered his family. The hearing is MacDonald’s last shot at a new trial.