Alabama: Lawyer: Cold case murder suspect is outstanding citizen – Investigators say DNA match found through a genealogy website

This Saturday, March 16, 2019 booking photo provided by the Dale County Sheriff's Office, shows Coley McCraney. Al.com reported McCraney, of Dothan, was arrested Saturday and charged with rape and capital murder in the 1999 deaths of 17-year-olds Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley. Ozark police and Dale County sheriff's officials are scheduled to hold a press conference about the case on Monday, March 18. Authorities in Alabama said a DNA match found through a genealogy website led to to the arrest. (Dale County Sheriff's Office via AP)

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) 03/18 — The Latest on an arrest in the 1999 killings of two Alabama teenagers (all times local): 9:35 a.m. The lawyer for a suspect in the 1999 deaths of two Alabama teenagers says he’s an outstanding member of the community and is cooperating with law enforcement.

Investigators in Alabama say a DNA match found through a genealogy website led them to arrest 45-year-old Coley McCraney.

McCraney faces rape and capital murder charges in the slayings of 17-year-olds Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley. The girls had left Dothan, Alabama, to attend a party but never arrived. They were later found in the trunk of a car, each with a gunshot wound to the head.

This combination of images from a 1999 flyer released by the Ozark (Ala.) Police Department, shows J.B. Beasley, left, and Tracie Hawlett, who were both murdered in July 1999. Alabama authorities say a DNA match found through a genealogy website has led to an arrest in the killings of the two teen girls nearly 20 years ago. Coley McCraney, of Dothan, was arrested Saturday, March 16, 2019, on rape and capital murder charges in the deaths of Hawlett and Beasley, according to Dale County jail records. (Ozark Police Department via AP)

 

Attorney David Harrison tells The Associated Press it’s going to be difficult to find a jury that’s not already aware of the case and that he might have to ask for another venue to get a fair trial.

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1:30 a.m.

Authorities in Alabama say a DNA match found through a genealogy website has led to an arrest in decades-old slaying and rape case.

Al.com reports 45-year-old Coley McCraney, of Dothan, was arrested Saturday and charged with rape and capital murder in the 1999 deaths of 17-year-olds Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley. Ozark police and Dale County sheriff’s officials are scheduled to hold a press conference about the case on Monday.

This 1999 flyer released by the Ozark (Ala.) Police Department, shows J.B. Beasley, left, Tracie Hawlett, who were both murdered in July 1999. Alabama authorities say a DNA match found through a genealogy website has led to an arrest in the killings of the two teenage girls nearly 20 years ago. Al.com reports Coley McCraney, of Dothan, was arrested Saturday, March 16, 2019, on rape and capital murder charges in the 1999 deaths of Hawlett and Beasley. (Ozark Police Department via AP)

 

The girls left Dothan the night of July 3, 1999, to attend a party, but they never arrived. The pair was found the next day in the trunk of Beasley’s car alongside a road in Ozark, each with a gunshot wound to the head.

A different suspect was cleared after his DNA didn’t match that from semen found on Beasley.

https://apnews.com/cce73fe664c2441ba73d97b2c168b263

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Posted in: Arrests, Cold Cases, Crime & Criminals, DNA Evidence, Homicide, Juveniles, Murder/Attempted Murder, Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct

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