The Jeffrey MacDonald Information Site is a compendium of information about the Jeffrey MacDonald case. MacDonald was convicted in 1979 of the murders of his pregnant wife and two small daughters. He is serving three life sentences for that brutal crime.


The Murders of Colette, Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald
 

The Jeffrey MacDonald Information Site

1979 JEFFREY MACDONALD CASE TRIAL TRANSCRIPT
August 15, 1979: James Milne, Jr.

 

F U R T H E R P R O C E E D I N G S 4:00 p.m.

(The following proceedings were held in the presence of the jury and alternates.)

MR. SMITH: Your Honor, the Defendant calls James Milne to the witness stand, please?

(Whereupon, JAMES W. MILNE, JR. was called as a witness, duly sworn, and testified as follows:)


D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N 4:01 p.m.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q Mr. Milne, if you will during your testimony speak up good and loud so the jury and we can all hear you. Would you state your full name, please, sir?
A James Whitten Milne, Jr.
Q And Milne is a little bit of an unusual name in North Carolina. How do you spell Milne?
A M-i-l-n-e.
Q Mr. Milne, where do you live?
A I live in Roanoke, Virginia.
Q And how long have you lived in Roanoke, Virginia?
A I have lived in Roanoke, Virginia since July, '74. Prior to that period of time I was attending school at VPI in Blacksburg.
Q Mr. Milne, would you state whether or not you have ever resided in Fayetteville, North Carolina, or at Fort Bragg, North Carolina?
A Yes, sir, from the period of time March, 1969, until April of 1970, I was stationed at Fort Bragg.
Q And how long were you actually in the military, if you were, sir?
A I beg your pardon?
Q From what years?
A From what years?
Q Yes, sir.
A I was initially -- entered the service in September of '66, and my service was terminated in April of '70.
Q Would it be correct to say that in February of 1970, you were near the termination of your military service?
A Yes, sir, that is correct.
Q Had you served in the military outside the United States prior to that time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Where did you serve?
A I was in Vietnam.
Q Where did you live when you lived in Fort Bragg, Mr. Milne?
A I lived in Corregidor Courts.
Q And would you state whether or not you now know that you lived in the same neighborhood in which the Defendant, Jeffrey MacDonald, lived, sir?
A Yes, sir, I did.
Q Did you know the MacDonalds?
A No, sir, I did not.
Q They were not even casual acquaintances of yours?
A No, sir.
Q Had you ever seen Dr. MacDonald as far as you know on the 17th of February, 1970?
A No, sir.
Q And did you know Mrs. MacDonald to see her?
A No, sir, I did not.
Q What, again, was your address in Corregidor Courts?
A I lived at 232 North Dougherty.
Q And would you state whether or not that is near Castle Drive?
A Yes, sir; the Dougherty and Castle Drive perpendicular intersection is right in front of the courtyard in which I lived at the Corregidor Courts address.
Q Mr. Milne, there is on the easel over at your left a photograph -- an aerial photograph -- of Corregidor Courts, and I wonder if you would be kind enough to come down from the witness stand over to the easel.
There is a pointer -- pointer stick on the -- would you point out to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury Bragg Boulevard if you recognize it on that photograph?
A Yes, sir, this is Bragg Boulevard (indicating).
Q All right. Now, I believe, for the record, that the exhibit Mr. Milne is now pointing toward is Government Exhibit 968. Mr. Milne, if you will then please, sir, show the ladies and gentlemen of the jury on that aerial photograph Dougherty Street, or the street on which you lived?
A Yes, sir; Dougherty Street runs right in this area here (indicating).
Q All right, let's, with the Court's permission, move that easel out. Your Honor, I believe some of the jurors are having a little bit of difficulty seeing it.
All right, Mr. Milne, if you will again show the ladies and gentlemen here Bragg Boulevard?
A Bragg Boulevard running in this area here -- Dougherty Street is along this street here. The courtyard in which I lived in was this rectangular courtyard here.
Q Where did the MacDonalds live?
A Castle Drive is this street here. The MacDonalds lived right in this house right here (indicating).
Q All right, now, Mr. Milne, what separated your house from the MacDonald house? What was the terrain in front of your house toward the MacDonald house?
A Basically there are a few trees within this area. The shadow is overcast somewhat on this photograph. The duplex in which I and my family lived is this top duplex on here. The lower half as shown on the picture is the 232 address, or is the address in which my family lived. The line of sight from here across the courtyard to the address that MacDonald lived is virtually unobstructed, and it is separated by Dougherty Street.
Q You then could see the MacDonald house from your house?
A Yes, sir.
Q All right, about how far would you say your front door was from the MacDonald front door?
A I estimate the distance between these two be 120 yards -- 100 yards, 120 yards.
Q You may return to the witness stand. Thank you very much. Mr. Milne, did you have any hobbies on the 17th of February, 1970?
A Yes, sir; at the time of my tenure at Fort Bragg in the service, I was a member of a model airplane club. I constructed radio-controlled aircraft as well as radio-controlled boats.
Q Had you been a flier or were you a flier in the military in Vietnam?
A Yes, sir, I was a pilot.
Q Would you state whether or not your hobby sometimes kept you up late at night?
A Yes, sir; due to the number of activities I was involved with, both on the job as well as personal, that often occasions arose where I could not actually get in and pursue my hobby until late evening.
Q Mr. Milne, do you recall hearing about the deaths of Colette MacDonald and the two children, Kris, and Kim?
A Yes, sir, I recall that instance.
Q Where were you when you learned about it?
A I was in the company area. I was the buildings and grounds officer as additional duty, and I was in charge of a number of individuals maintaining the company area. The next morning, the discussion -- when I arrived at the unit -- was about the incident that happened, and --
Q (Interposing) Mr. Milne, was the discussion about the incident having occurred the previous night?
A Yes, sir.
Q Now, Mr. Milne, would you state whether or not that discussion caused you to remember any kind of event which you observed on that night?
A Yes, sir; the discussions involved the death of three people. At that particular point in time, somebody within the group of individuals I was in charge of mentioned the fact that somebody had entered the rear door. And whether it was through the news media, that he had heard this, or whatnot, I don't recall; but at that particular time that he said three individuals had entered the rear door, an impact on me was tremendous, from the standpoint that I had previously seen three individuals the night before.
Q All right, now, would you go back to that night before, Mr. Milne, and describe to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what you were doing and what time it was, and in your words as best you recall, describe what you saw?
A Yes, sir. The night before I was working in my workshop -- which I had used an unused bedroom in the front half of the duplex, set up to work on my models and construct and build and so forth.
I didn't get started on this until late, around 11:00 o'clock, the same time my wife started going to bed. She, of course, would take anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour showering, taking make-up off and so forth.
So I do recall getting into the aspect of the construction portion of the model that I had at that particular time, around 11:30.
Now, I don't recall specifically any time sequence until I went to bed. I think it was 12:30 or shortly thereafter -- within five minutes. About the best I can estimate is that it was somewhere between a quarter till midnight and 15 minutes past midnight based on the number of pieces that I had to get set up and to permanently affix with epoxies and so forth.
The time that I was piecing these items together, as I said, was around quarter till 12:00. All of a sudden, I just heard voices.
Q May I interrupt your story for just a moment just to ask you this question, Mr. Milne. It might help with your story. Would you state whether or not there was anything related to the development of model structures which might require ventilation in your home?
A Yes, sir. The sequence involved a set-up because the epoxies that I use are time-cured, self-hardening epoxies which do have a hardening effect after a given length of time, based on the type of epoxy you use. Once initiated, then you either have a hardened mass or you have your structure completely affixed. The obnoxious odors is what I call them. They are not toxic from that standpoint but just nasty to smell are one which I did not care to smell nor did my wife who is really the commandant of that outfit. She did not like that either. I had to cross-ventilate.
My window in the bedroom was open and the rear door was open. The bedroom door to her bedroom was closed at that time. The cross-ventilation I would get would take the fumes right on out the window and the reverse would go right on out the back door, so the reasoning of the interjection here is that the back door was open. At this particular point in time is when I heard voices. They did not come up from a distance. They just initiated.
Prior experience, particularly in Viet Nam and so forth, an instinct -- an alarm system went off within me. I immediately rushed to the rear door. I didn't know what it was. It was unusual to have anybody at that late an hour in the rear of the house. I arrived at the door two or three seconds later and cracked it somewhat. It was approximately a foot open at the time. I pulled open and looked out and three people are standing ten or 15 feet from me going up the walk -- up the chart away from me but out far enough so I could kind of see abreast of them. These three individuals were wearing white sheets, and I specifically saw the center individual to be a girl and two males on either side and they were all carrying candles. The girl, I specifically saw holding a candle. She was holding it in her right hand and cupping it from the movement of walking up the walk with her left.
These three individuals continued to talk, and I distinctively respond to that visual effect when I opened that door what I saw. Looking to the left, "Gee, where is the parade?" I looked back to the left, "No, not a parade, choir practice." I thought and it didn't fit, so I continued to watch them. They walked up the walk and turned left at the end of the building which is the other end of the duplex and proceeded past my line of sight.
From that point, I returned back to my hobby room and saw these people emerge and continued walking out from the end of that building in the same direction they had initiated when they left my line of sight. At that particular point, I did not pay too much attention to what they were doing except walking. I sat back down and glanced up again. They continued to walk.
I started back working again. I recall the last instance I glanced again to see what had happened and they were near the end of the courtyard on the walkway approaching Dougherty Street. That is the last that I ever saw of these individuals.
Q Now, Mr. Milne, would you state whether or not the last time you saw the three individuals they were closer to the MacDonald house than they were when you first observed them?
A What I understand you to say is the observation that I made initially of being roughly ten to 15 feet was closer than the distance at which I last saw them. Is that what you are saying?
Q Let me rephrase my question. I think I can make it a little better. Were they walking in the direction of the MacDonald house when you last saw them?
A Yes, sir. The walkway which they were proceeding down virtually almost would extend into the side bedroom of the MacDonald home.
Q How far would they have been, in your opinion, from the MacDonald home when you last observed them?
A I would estimate about 40 yards from the MacDonald home.
Q All right, how long was the woman's hair, if you can give us a better description?
A Yes, sir. The woman's hair that I recall was slightly below shoulder-blade length in the middle of the back, straight, very light -- light blond -- brown, excuse me -- light brown -- almost to a blondish color down the middle of her back.
Q Now, if I could ask you to please go to the easel one more time and show the ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if you can, where you first observed these people and where they were when you last observed them? Let's move it back over.
A The duplex in which, we lived is this duplex here (indicating). The three individuals from slightly north or slightly above the back steps were proceeding in a direction up the walk and then left at the end of that building, straight down the walkway here (indicating) which runs into Dougherty. This walkway is a straight -- almost virtually a straight line towards the MacDonald house. The walkway runs in front of these buildings (indicating). This is the front of these buildings (indicating). The front faces this courtyard (indicating), and the walkway runs straight down toward the MacDonald house.
Q Mr. Milne, what things were behind your house at the time you lived there?
A The only structure other than a few plants, bushes, trees, telephone poles -- the only structure was a small storage shed. There were four compartments -- one for this duplex (indicating) and one for this duplex (indicating). The structure itself wasn't any elaborate structure -- just a small storage shed.
Q Were there any houses behind your house?
A No, sir.
Q Then, your house was on the last row of houses -- your house was on the last row of houses before you came to the road?
A Yes, sir. There is only open space behind this duplex (indicating) with bush lines and then Fort Bragg Boulevard.

MR. SMITH: All right, you may return to the witness stand. Thank you, sir.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q Mr. Milne , I hand you here an item which has been previously marked for identification as Defendant Exhibit Number 80 and ask you, sir, if you will examine it and state whether or not you can identify it?
A Yes, sir. This is a photograph that I took in August of 1969.
Q Why did you take that photograph; was there any particular reason?
A Yes, sir; it was the end of a roll and I needed to process the film.
Q What kind of a picture was it -- was it a slide or a print?
A It was a slide.

(Defendant Exhibit No. 80 was marked for identification.)

Q What does the picture portray?
A The picture portrays the courtyard scene as seen from the living room window of my duplex that I took.
Q Mr. Milne, let me ask you if you would, come down in front of the jury. If I may request, Your Honor, that we may be permitted to do that. Can you use that photograph to illustrate your testimony as to the view outside your window or outside the window of your house?
A Right.
Q Back up just a little, if you will. If you will, describe what you can see with that photograph and what it illustrates, sir?
A The MacDonald house is located right here. The end of the walkway, which runs through the courtyard in front of that long complex on the other aerial photo, the end of it is here. The courtyard is viewed outside looking through the living room window of the duplex in which my family was staying at the time.
Q All right, now, if you will, Mr. Milne, will you state to the Court and the jury, or show on the photograph, the place at which you last saw the three people you have described?
A Yes, sir. As you notice, in this area, that the ground slopes downward. Approximately right in this position here, prior to going down and into the street was when I last noticed these three individuals I saw.

MR. SMITH: All right. You may return to the witness stand.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q Mr. Milne, have you ever participated in any hearing in this case before?
A No, sir; I have not.
Q You have not testified prior to this time, then, in this matter?
A No, sir; I have not.
Q Mr. Milne, is there any reason why you did not come forward with the information you have and let the CID know or the MPs know or any investigating personnel know about it?
A The particular time that this incident happened was prior to my leaving the service. I was scheduled to enter college in June. I had to process outside the Army or process for termination in the service.
I had to locate a place to stay in the college town for my family. I had to actually find or help find work for my wife. The GI Bill just wasn't quite enough to make it through college, so I had numerous personal thoughts on my mind.
I was primarily at this time a pilot. I had responsibilities to fly missions. I had secondary duty as Survivors Assistance officer under the Commanding General Tolson of Fort Bragg, which I had two cases pending at the time.
I was also Building and Grounds Officer for the unit -- the 182nd. I had come to a crossroads in my life. I had never been in civilian life with a family. I had deep responsibilities, and I had deep thoughts about what I was going to do in the future. At this particular point in time, I felt that I was overloaded virtually with problems, and that the CID or the FBI were professionals in this area in reviewing the matter that was concernable to the case. I felt that possibly if anything was relevant, they would surely come by and ask -- particularly living this close to the area.
I never did have anyone come by and ask whether I had seen anything or whether I had heard anything. As time went on, I left the service, and went to Blacksburg, Virginia.
Q When did you first come forward with the information that you have provided the jury today, Mr. Milne?
A Two years ago. My wife is currently, and has been for a good number of years, working for the Commonwealth Attorney's office in Virginia. The attorney that was involved with the initial proceedings in 1970 had been in the area and was living in the area that we are currently now living in.
She had discussed the case and so forth with him in regards to whether or not it had ever been solved. She told me that he was within the Roanoke area. At that time, I told her that possibly what I had known at this time was relevant to a case that he had stated was possibly going to trial at this time.
Q Did you, at this point, make known the information you have provided today?
A Yes, sir. I have always been available.
Q Mr. Milne, on the morning that you left to go to your work duties, that being the same morning on which this occurred, did you observe Military Police, CID people, or anyone else in your neighborhood?
A Yes, sir -- a number of vans, and there were military personnel -- MPs -- were around through this area. I knew something was going on, but I did not know what.

MR. SMITH: You may examine.


C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N 4:28 p.m.

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q Mr. Milne, when did you first leave Fort Bragg, sir, in 1970. When were you discharged from the Army?
A I was discharged April 23, 1970.
Q Until the 23rd of April, then, is it fair or accurate to state that you lived at Fort Bragg at Corregidor Courts?
A Basically, Monday through Friday; yes, sir.
Q Right, when you were there?
A That was my residence; yes, sir.
Q Now I take it that you received a daily newspaper; did you not?
A Yes, sir.
Q And watched the television news on occasion?
A Yes, sir.
Q You were aware -- were you not -- of the triple murder at the MacDonald apartment?
A Yes, sir; I found out about that the next morning.
Q Okay, and I believe you just testified on direct examination that you, as a result, of course, of getting ready to go to college and to leave the military for civilian life, is it fair to say that you had a number of, I suppose, problems pressing in on you and decisions to make; is that fair to say?
A Yes, sir; that is correct.
Q And I think you stated that it was your opinion that if what you had was relevant, the CID would come out and talk to you about it; is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Of course, is it not true that they would not know that that was relevant until, of course, they came by and found out what you knew?
A Well, sir, the aspect of what I saw, I drew an analogy to. The aspect of what these three people were doing made no attempt whatsoever to hide from my view. They were very obvious in their walking behind my house as well as along the side of the courtyard.
The analogy was -- that I drew -- was that if somebody had possibly done this to the MacDonalds, then these people could have done the same to me. As far as relevancy as to whether or not they actually did anything, I don't know, sir.
Q Prior to your leaving the Fort Bragg area -- prior to the time of the 23rd of April, 1970, were you aware or not aware that Dr. MacDonald was a primary suspect in the killing of his family?
A Not as a primary suspect; no, sir.
Q You did not know that charges might be instituted against him?
A No, sir.
Q Between the 6th of April, 1970, and the 23rd of April, 1970, did you have an occasion, if you can recall -- of course, I understand it was a long time ago -- do you recall ever reading the newspaper -- the local newspaper -- during that time?
A I don't really recall; no, sir.
Q Now, I think you testified under oath on direct examination that you were always available; is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q And you would have talked to anyone who came to see you?
A Yes, sir.
Q And told them then just what you told us today; is that correct?
A That's correct.
Q Did you ever on your own personal initiative contact anyone -- any law enforcement agency -- with respect to this information?
A Well, in '71-'72-'73, possibly, I did contact an individual that was associated with law.
Q Who was that?
A That was my brother.
Q Is he a private attorney?
A Yes, sir; he is.
Q Where does he practice law?
A He is practicing law in Richmond, Virginia.
Q Is he an older brother?
A No, sir; he is a younger brother.
Q I didn't mean to cut you off. Were you through with that answer?
A No, sir.
Q Okay, go ahead.
A The time period between '71-'72-'73 I had told him about seeing this incident at that particular time, but that I had no fears from it.
Q And your comment to him was fear because of what might happen to you; is that what you are saying?
A No, sir.
Q Okay, what do you mean when you say you had no fears?
A Well, in the summer of 1970, when I was in school, the article that I read in regards to MacDonald was that the Article 32 proceedings that had since come forth had been dismissed.
Q Okay, let me ask you this question: did you ever in 1970 -- prior to leaving Fort Bragg or after you left Fort Bragg -- did you ever on your own initiative contact any agent with the CID?
A No, sir.
Q Did you ever contact any agent with the FBI?
A No, sir.
Q Did you ever contact any Fayetteville police or county sheriff's department with this information?
A No, sir.
Q Isn't it a correct statement that the first time you ever talked with a law enforcement agency -- and I am distinguishing law enforcement agency from a private attorney -- several weeks ago when you spoke with Donald Murray of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
A Yes, sir; that is correct.
Q Where was that meeting held?
A That was in Roanoke, Virginia.
Q He came to see you; is that correct?
A Yes; that is correct.
Q Isn't it true that until about 19 -- I may have the year wrong -- 1977, you never even told your wife about what you saw?
A That is true; yes, sir.
Q Why is that if you can tell us?
A No, sir; I don't mind telling you. In 1968, my aircraft got shot up, an AC circuit breaker exploded on the right side, it had damage done to it. It mentally shook me up at the time, and I failed to write my wife a couple of weeks, and I continued getting letters from her, so I sat down and I wrote and I explained what had happened. I even told her in probably too much detail. It upset her to no end. The whole remaining period of time that I was in Viet Nam, I felt that I had made an error in judgment in that respect. I did not wish to subject her to something that supposedly could have happened which did not happen; therefore, I just never mentioned the incident.
Q Isn't it true that after you learned of the murders, I guess the next day, that you thought to yourself that perhaps these three people you saw could have been involved in the killings; is that a correct statement?
A Yes, sir.
Q It did not occur to you to contact any law enforcement agency?
A No, sir; it didn't.
Q You know, of course, that a murder -- particularly, a triple murder is an extremely serious offense?
A Yes, sir.
Q And you are stating then, and I do not want to misquote you, you are stating then that the primary reason that you did not seek to get involved concerning what you knew was because of pressing personal problems with leaving Fort Bragg; is that correct?
A No, sir; that is not correct.
Q Okay.
A It is not a personal feeling of not wanting to get involved. It is one in which I drew an analogy to the situation that if need be, my services would be offered. The investigative staff that was handling this matter was supposed to be professionals, and I feel and felt then that if there was something to be learned from the people that lived in the neighborhood, that surely somebody would come by and ask.
Q Is it fair to state that if they did not come by and ask you, you were not going to go voluntarily?
A Well, not necessarily in that particular set of words; no, sir. As I said, the information that I saw that I have given to you in regards to these three people was one in which I drew an analogy to.
Q Yes, sir.
A This was coincidence or whatnot. I don't know, but looking at it from a standpoint of these people possibly doing the same thing to me does not necessarily relate to the fact that they could or did or possibly would have done the same to the MacDonalds.
Q I do not want to belabor this point. I will move on, but it is correct to stated is it not, that you did not become involved insofar as that connotes telling a law enforcement agency?
A No, sir; I did not get involved.

MR. BLACKBURN: Just a second, Your Honor.

(Pause.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q I believe you stated that you were fearful after learning this that this could have happened to you or your family; is that correct?
A That is the way I view it; yes, sir.
Q Did it ever occur to you then that perhaps there was a necessity to report what you had observed to a law enforcement agency regardless of whether or not it had anything to do with the MacDonalds out of fear that it might happen to you the next night or to some other family in that area?
A No, sir. The thought never really entered my mind; no, sir. I just merely locked the door the next night.
Q These people that you saw -- I think you described them as three people?
A Three people.
Q One girl with long brown-blondish straight hair; is that correct?
A Yes, sir; that is correct.
Q And each of them -- were they wearing a sheet?
A Yes, sir.
Q What color was the sheet?
A The sheet, the best I can remember, was white.
Q Was it like a bed sheet?
A Yes, sir.
Q Or like a choir robe?
A It resembled a choir robe with folds in the back -- that could have possibly been.
Q Of course, I don't want to put words in your mouth. Were they wearing it, you know, like a choir robe -- have them with sleeves going through the right and left arm. Was it like that type of thing? Or was it more or less a sheet draped and wrapped around them?
A It wasn't really wrapped around them, no, sir. It was just draped over them. The girl's hair was out, down the back.
Q They didn't have hoods on, did they?
A No, sir.
Q What race, if you know, were these three people?
A They were white.
Q No blacks?
A No, sir.
Q All three were carrying candles?
A Yes, sir.
Q All three candles were lit?
A Yes, sir.
Q What was the weather like -- I know it was raining during part of the evening -- I think there's been testimony to this. Was it raining at this particular time?
A No, sir, not at the time I saw these individuals.
Q It was not drizzling or anything like that?
A No, sir.
Q Could you tell whether or not the wind was blowing?
A No, sir, I really don't recall.
Q Now, I know you have stated they didn't have hoods on their heads. Did they have anything on their heads?
A No, sir.
Q The girl did not have anything on her head?
A No, sir.
Q She didn't have a floppy hat on her head?
A No, sir.
Q Well, how long -- I know you said the sheet was on her but it wasn't draped.
A It was draped.
Q It was draped, I'm sorry. Was it -- how far down the body did it go, if you can recall?
A Within six inches of the ground.
Q Now, did it cover their body completely?
A Yes, sir.
Q They were not having to hold the sheet on?
A No, sir; that is the reason I described it initially as a choir robe and as my reaction to the scene as, "No, this must be choir practice." I draw the vision in relationship to a choir robe but purely white.
Q Were they singing anything?
A They were not singing; they were talking.
Q Could you hear what they said?
A No, sir; I don't recall anything about what they said.
Q They weren't shouting or anything?
A No, sir; just a monotone -- almost like three monologues going on at the same time, with no really apparent indication on my part as to what they were saying. I don't recall anything.
Q Now, I know you said that they were carrying candles, and they were protecting the candles with their right hand?
A Yes, sir, as they walked down the walk.
Q Right, to keep the candle lit?
A Right, sir.
Q And they were protecting it with their right hand?
A They were holding the candle in their right hand.
Q Protecting with the left hand?
A And they were protecting with their left hand.
Q So when they faced you -- not faced you; but when you saw them you could see them like that, is that correct?
A The girl I could see initially with the candle and her hand cupped over. To be perfectly honest, sir, I was really looking at the girl anyway and not to the guys.
Q Was she a pretty girl?
A In my opinion, yes, she had very beautiful hair; and I recall more about her than I do the other two. But I did see light coming off the other two. They rounded the building at the other end; when I glanced up and saw them crossing, I could see three flickering flames.
Q So what you are saying is that you saw one candle that you are sure of, and at least two other flickering flames?
A Initially, yes, sir.
Q Now, did they have anything in their hands besides the candles?
A No, sir.
Q Could you tell whether or not they had gloves on?
A The girl did not, no, sir. I don't know about the other two.
Q I'm sorry?
A The girl did not; I do not know about the other two.
Q Well, did they have any weapons in their hands that you could see?
A To the best of my knowledge, no, sir.
Q Let me hand you Government Exhibit 307. When was the first time you have ever seen that?
A This particular piece?
Q Yes, sir.
A Just now.
Q Did you see any of these three people carrying this club?
A No, sir; I did not.
Q Did you see any of the three people carrying any club?
A No, sir; I did not.
Q Now if you could, come right down here. I want you to look at your picture again. I did not get a close look. Where were you the last time you said you saw them?
A Right at the level of this area here, which is a walkway. It is not clearly identified in this picture.
Q It's not the steps, is it?
A No, sir. It is just a sloping walk off down to the bottom.
Q You were looking out your front window when you saw them; is that correct?
A The bedroom window; yes, sir.
Q Where were the lights out here, in this area?
A To the best I can recall, there was a possibility of a street light being here. This is my car here.
Q You don't know that there was a street light there?
A I believe there was.
Q You can't tell?
A No, sir; you can't see it, but I believe it was.
Q Was it fairly well-lit in this area, though?
A Not overly lit; no, sir.
Q Is it fair to say that the reason you could tell the flickering lights, I guess, because it was not overly lit; is that right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Now let me ask you this: you testified this was the very last time you saw them?
A Right, at the top; yes, sir.
Q And then the MacDonald apartment is where?
A Right here, sir.
Q Okay. I think you testified the last time you saw them they were going towards the MacDonald apartment?
A Yes, sir. They were walking in this direction.
Q Did you see them go across the street?
A No, sir; I did not.
Q Did you see which way they went on Dougherty Street?
A No, sir; I did not.

MR. BLACKBURN: You may return to the stand.

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q Is it fair to say that to your own personal knowledge, you don't whether they went across the street toward Castle Drive or turned right on Dougherty or turned left on Dougherty?
A To the best of my knowledge, sir, I do not know where these people went after I last saw them.
Q Now you testified that this was at what time?
A Between the hour of quarter until midnight to fifteen minutes past midnight, the best in my judgment that I can make.
Q What time did you get to bed that night or the next morning?
A 12-30. Fifteen minutes or twenty minutes later.
Q You had been working on your -- model boat, I believe?
A Yes, sir.
Q You had ventilated the house because of the fumes from the glue and this sort of thing?
A Yes, sir.
Q They were talking loud enough for you to hear them, I guess.
A Yes, sir.
Q Did they see you, or do you know?
A The best I can recall, no, sir; not at all. They were walking away from me when I was at the back door and they continued to walk away.
Q Was there anything peculiar about the way they were walking besides, obviously, holding a candle?
A Well, as far as -- the only thing I can say about their walking would be fast enough to get where they were going and slow enough to keep from blowing the flame out.
Q Now that is probably fairly slow; isn't it? Now, with respect to the girl, I know you testified that the sheet went down about six inches?
A Within six inches of the ground; yes, sir.
Q This is true of the girl?
A Yes, sir.
Q During the time you looked at the girl, did you have occasion to look below the sheet?
A There was not much below the sheet.
Q Did you have much occasion to look below it?
A I don't recall anything that was below it; no, sir.
Q You don't recall what she was wearing on her feet?
A No, sir; I don't.
Q Did any of the males have anything on their heads?
A No, sir.
Q They did not have a floppy hat on; did they?
A No, sir; no one was wearing any hats.
Q Did you see any -- I think you testified all the sheets were white; is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Is it fair to say that you didn't see anybody wearing a dark red sheet, for example?
A No, sir.
Q Or red hood?
A No, sir.
Q I don't guess you saw anybody wearing a sweatshirt or anything like that?
A No, sir.
Q Because you couldn't see underneath the sheet.
A No, sir.
Q Could you tell whether or not anybody was wearing any fatigue jackets or anything like that?
A No, sir; I could not.

MR. BLACKBURN: Your Honor, may I have just one moment?

(Pause.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q You really don't have any reason not to know that these people weren't coming from choir practice; do you?
A No, sir; I don't.

MR. BLACKBURN: Your Honor, that completes our cross-examination.

THE COURT: Any redirect?

MR. SMITH: One further question if I may.

THE COURT: All right.


R E D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N 4:53 p.m.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q Mr. Milne, from February 17, 1970, until the end of April, 1970, when you left the military, did any military policeman or CID officer or agent ever come to your house that you know of?
A No, sir; they did not.

MR. SMITH: No further questions.


E X A M I N A T I 0 N

BY THE COURT:
Q Mr. Milne, where was your duty station at this particular time there on the post?
A I had three duty stations, sir.
Q Where was it that particular morning?
A That particular morning was at the Aviation Company Barracks.
Q Did you have an office there or something that you reported to?
A Yes, sir; I was in charge of the building and grounds. We had a staff of individuals that worked under me and maintained the beautification and so forth of the area. The area that we had allocated to us was a portion of the supply area.
Q Do you remember who your fellow workers on that particular activity were on that morning?
A I remember the faces but I don't recall the names; no, sir.
Q Was there any discussion among you concerning this triple murder that had occurred the night before? Had you heard about it by that time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Was there any discussion of the fact that some intruders may have gone in and committed this crime?
A Yes, sir; there was.
Q Did you discuss with your associates there the fact that you had seen three rather odd people -- oddly dressed -- and were carrying candles at that hour of the night?
A No, sir; I did not discuss it with them.

THE COURT: Do you gentlemen care to ask this witness any further questions?

MR. BLACKBURN: No, sir.

THE COURT: All right, anything else?

MR. SMITH: May we excuse this witness, Your Honor?

THE COURT: Oh, yes; sure.

(Witness excused.)

 

 

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