Jeffrey MacDonald will stay in prison to serve life sentences after appeal is dismissed

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Jeffrey MacDonald will continue serving three consecutive life sentences for the brutal murders of his wife and children at Fort Bragg more than 50 years ago, after a federal appellate court upheld a federal district court’s dismissal of his motion for “compassionate release.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an order Thursday dismissing an appeal filed by MacDonald, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

MacDonald was appealing the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle in April to dismiss his motion for “compassionate release,” which he originally filed in November 2020.

MacDonald has been in prison for more than 40 years for the 1970 murders of his pregnant wife and two young daughters at Fort Bragg. Thursday’s decision was the latest in his numerous appeals over the years, as he has maintained his innocence in the murders.

“Jeffrey MacDonald did the unthinkable more than 50 years ago when he murdered his pregnant wife and two daughters in brutal fashion,” G. Norman Acker III, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said in the release. “MacDonald’s latest effort to get out of prison has failed just like his previous efforts failed.

His story, one of the most infamous murder cases in North Carolina, has been the source of numerous TV shows, films and books, including 1983’s book, “Fatal Vision.”

The Jeffrey MacDonald murder case: A timeline of a major events

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