A lawyer took the stand Monday in the hearing for Jeffrey MacDonald, the North Carolina man convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters in 1970. Jerry Leonard was the attorney for the late Helena Stoeckley, a woman who at one point claimed to have been in the MacDonald apartment the night of the murder. Leonard testified that she told him the cult members committed the murder.
WRAL reports, Leonard testified that Stoeckley, who died in 1983, told him she was a witch in a cult. She said the cult members decided to go to the MacDonald home to confront him because they were heroin users and they thought his drug treatment program discriminated against heroin users.
Stoeckley said they went to the house and things got out of control, but she said she had no part in the murders.
Prosecutors alleged MacDonald, who was 26 at the time, brutally stabbed his family to death with two paring knives and an ice pick and beat them with a piece of wood in their apartment on Feb. 17, 1970. MacDonald claimed four drug-crazed hippies, who were chanting, “Acid is groovy, kill the pigs,” murdered his family, stabbed him and left him for dead. He is seeking a new trial, because DNA technology didn’t exist during his original trial.
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