OZARK, AL (WTVY) - State forensics experts believe, beyond any reasonable doubt, murder suspect Coley McCraney had sexual contact with one of the high school students he is accused of murdering. Police arrested McCraney, now 45, on March 16.
J.B. Beasley and her best friend Tracie Hawlett, both 17, died on August 1, 1999. They had been shot and, according to police, Beasley was raped.
The report appears to confirm theories of investigators.
“The DNA detected from vaginal swabs identified to be from J.B.H. Beasley are a mixture of at least two individuals, at least one must be male. Coley Lewis McCraney and J.B. Beasley are included as potential contributors to this mixture,” the analysis states.
The report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences claims the chances of the DNA from the swab belonging to someone other than McCraney are a minimum of one in 14 million and could be as high as one in 48.6 million, depending on race.
The report claims DNA stains found on Beasley’s underwear are also certainly those of McCraney. The chances of a erroneous match are at least one in 38.3 decillion. (A decillion is a number followed by 33 zeros.)
Court records show McCraney voluntarily submitted DNA in January 2019, after an independent lab potentially linked him to the girls. Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker then sent samples to an Alabama state lab for verification. When announcing the arrest, Walker said “DNA doesn't lie.”
McCraney's attorney doesn't deny his client had been with Ms. Beasley and Ms. Hawlett before they died. However, he believes someone else may have placed their bodies inside Ms. Beasley's car, before shooting them.
On Wednesday, David Harrison will have an opportunity to question at least one investigator assigned to this case. A preliminary hearing will determine if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to a Dale County Grand Jury.