Government opposes delay in MacDonald hearing

October 31, 2011 - 8:50 AM

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Federal lawyers in North Carolina are opposing a request to delay a hearing in the case of the former Army surgeon convicted of killing his pregnant wife and young daughters at Fort Bragg more than 40 years ago.

The Fayetteville Observer reported (http://bit.ly/vsgsel) lawyers for Jeffrey MacDonald have asked the U.S. District Court to appoint a new lawyer for MacDonald and to delay the scheduled Nov. 28 hearing in Wilmington until at least February.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Stuart Bruce says MacDonald has not shown he doesn't have a lawyer, or that he's unable to afford one.

One of MacDonald's lawyers withdrew last week.

His lawyers say he deserves a new trial because of unidentified DNA recovered from the scene and allegations that a prosecutor coerced a witness into lying.

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Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com