WILMINGTON (AP) — One of the prosecutors in the Jeffrey MacDonald murder trial testified Thursday that a key witness didn’t confess to taking part in the 1970 murders.
Former prosecutor Jack Crawley told a U.S. District Court in Wilmington much of what Jim Blackburn had testified Wednesday, that Helena Stoeckley never told prosecutors that she was involved, and he denied making threats.
Crawley said he was present at the prosecution’s meeting with Stoeckley.
Stoeckley had told people over the years that she thought she was in the MacDonald home the night of the killings. But Crawley testified Stoeckley denied the story in the meeting, which also had present U.S. Attorney George Anderson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Murtagh.
Stoeckley died in 1983.
Retired Deputy Marshal Jimmy Britt said in 2005 that he was in the room during the interview. Blackburn has testified that Britt wasn’t there, and Crawley said, “I don’t think he was there, but I cannot say with absolute certainty.” Britt has since died.
MacDonald’s wife, Colette, and their two daughters, 5-year-old Kimberley and 2-year-old Kristen, were beaten and stabbed to death in February 1970. MacDonald, 68, has always maintained that he awoke on a sofa in the home as three men attacked his family and a woman, wearing a blonde wig and a floppy hat, chanted “acid is groovy, kill the pigs.”
The hearing is based on two new types of evidence: DNA results on three hairs and a statement from a former deputy U.S. marshal. Those who believe MacDonald committed the killings have said the hairs could have come from anyone — neighbors or other people who had been in the home.s