The 26-year-old Tempe man arrested in the murder of former ASU football player Tyrice Thompson pleaded not guilty this morning.
MacDonald, a Marine who has a "top security clearance" -- at least, according to his lawyer -- is accused of stabbing Thompson outside the Martini Ranch bar in Scottsdale on January 27. Thompson died a few days later.
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Scottsdale police have said that three people said MacDonald admitted to stabbing Thompson.
MacDonald's attorney, Jeffery Mehrens, on the other hand, claimed earlier this month that the cops have "exactly nothing."
"They have no eyewitnesses, they have no confession, they have no murder weapon -- they have exactly nothing," he said at MacDonald's first court appearance.
, MacDonald had blood on his shirt, but a "preliminary" DNA test showed the blood was not Thompson's, according to court documents previously obtained by New Times.
Although four of Martini Ranch's employees were outside at the time, none of them saw the actual stabbing, according to a probable-cause statement. Two of them, who had just escorted MacDonald and his girlfriend out of Martini Ranch, left them in the parking lot to deal with another "disturbance" out there. The other two saw MacDonald, his girlfriend, and Thompson apparently brawling outside, but by the time they got over to them, Thompson already had been stabbed.
Thompson was stabbed eight times and died a few days after the January 27 attack. He never regained consciousness after being stabbed and was unable to tell police who did it.
MacDonald and his girlfriend denied any involvement in the stabbing, but police found other details.
"It should be noted that [MacDonald] was the [first] 911 caller who advised that his girlfriend has been stabbed in the face by a bouncer who took off running," the probable-cause statement says.
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MacDonald's girlfriend, 22-year-old Samantha King, was not stabbed in the face.
A probable-cause statement cites three anonymous acquaintances of MacDonald who said MacDonald admitted to them he had the knife and stabbed Thompson. All three acquaintances told police that MacDonald said he'd chucked the knife in a dumpster in Mesa. One person said MacDonald admitted to putting the knife in a Ziploc bag of liquid bleach before tossing it in the dumpster.
MacDonald faces a second-degree murder charge, and King was arrested on charges of assault and hindering prosecution.
MacDonald's next court date is scheduled for April 8.