OZARK, AL (WSFA) - Mike and Carol Roberts have wondered for the past 20 years who killed their daughter, Tracie Hawlett, and her friend, J.B. Beasley.
Hawlett and Beasley were murdered in 1999. Their bodies were found in the trunk of Beasley’s car.
“We haven’t slept all night in 20 years,” Mike Roberts, the victim’s step-father, explained.
As the years went by, Mike and Carol lost all hope that they would ever find their daughter’s killer.
“Once the 10-year mark hit, and then the 15-year mark, I honestly never thought it would be solved," Carol Roberts admitted.
“I was getting to the point that I thought I would never live to see this day come, but thankfully I have,” Mike Roberts added.
Twenty years after the girls’ murders, police arrested and charged Dothan resident Coley McCraney with their deaths.
When the Hawletts got word that McCraney had been charged, they said it was a bittersweet moment.
“We’ve been through pure hell for the last 20 years," Mr. Hawlett explained. "I know we’re going to have to go through a lot more because we’re going to have to relive it again, but I’m ready to relive it. I’m ready to put somebody behind bars, get them prosecuted and get this over with. Maybe we can sleep at night then.”
District Attorney Kirke Adams said that McCraney is eligible for the death penalty. According to Mike and Carol, that’s what they would like to see.
“I sat down and read in Exodus where it says that if you take a person’s life, you should have to give up your life," Carol Roberts said. "That’s the law, and I honestly believe that should be what happens.”
“I am all for the death penalty,” Mike Roberts said. "He’s lived 20 years in freedom and he shouldn’t live 20 or 30 more years on this earth. He needs to be gone. Quick!”
A preliminary court hearing will happen in the next few weeks.