Former Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas T. Noguchi said Wednesday that new information indicates that Dr. Jeffrey R. MacDonald, a former Green Beret, did not kill his wife and two daughters at a North Carolina Army post in 1970.
The prosecutor in the case, however, said Noguchi presented nothing new. James Blackburn accused MacDonald's lawyer of trying to attract publicity while his appeal is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Noguchi said the new information was based on his seven-month study of 17-year-old autopsy reports and photographs.
He said it supported the version of events offered by MacDonald, who argued that four people high on drugs killed his wife, Colette, and daughters Kimberly, 5, and Kristen, 2, and stabbed him with an ice pick in his Ft. Bragg home.
Noguchi Offers Opinion
"Based on the sequence of injuries and the types of injuries on the three deceased, my opinion is that there were multiple assailants carrying multiple weapons, at least one of whom is left-handed, carrying an ice pick-type of instrument, probably knives, a blunt object and additional material like a rope," Noguchi said.
MacDonald is right-handed.
Noguchi made his statements in the office of attorney Dennis Eisman, who has asked the Supreme Court to grant a new trial for MacDonald, who was convicted in 1979 of the crimes and sentenced to three life terms in prison.
Noguchi said he was paid $8,000 to investigate the evidence.
"The government theory was that Dr. MacDonald beat his family to death and then inflicted the knife wounds when they were dead," Eisman said. "We say that MacDonald's home was invaded by three men and a woman, all on drugs, who attacked him and murdered his family."