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The Region

December 19, 1985

Jeffrey MacDonald, the Long Beach physician and former Green Beret convicted of the 1970 murders of his pregnant wife and their two daughters at Ft. Bragg, N.C., has been refused a new trial. The three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., said there is "no basis" for defense allegations that the trial judge was not impartial. "The circumstantial evidence made a strong case against MacDonald and demonstrated that his story was a fabrication entirely or in substantial part," the panel wrote. MacDonald, who contended that the murders were committed by "drug-crazed hippies," is serving three consecutive life sentences at a federal prison in Bastrop, Tex. He said the decision is "very devastating" and that, if necessary, his lawyers will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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