OZARK, Ala. (WTVY) - Murder charges have been dropped against a man accused of killing his wife in 1990. That’s because another man has now been charged with the drowning of Tracy Harris.
“As district attorney, it is my job to not only seek justice, but to be fair to everyone, including defendants,” Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams said during a news conference Monday.
Carl Harris, Jr. had been indicted in 2016 with killing his wife, then dumping her body in the Choctawhatchee River. He would have gone on trial Monday.
54-year old Jeffery Beasley, an acquaintance of the Harris', has now been charged with that murder. Beasley's former wife provided information that led to his arrest, per police. She had apparently known of his involvement all along.
“This has been an incredible series of events and, undoubtedly, led from above,” is how Adams described how that new evidence led to the arrest of Beasley.
He credited hard work by police investigators but gave much of the credit to Dale County Assistant District Attorney Jordon Davis. Adams said her pursuit of justice has been “relentless.”
Reacting to the arrest of Beasley, Harris’ attorney, David Harrison, commended the work of prosecutors but he was far less gracious toward Ozark police investigators.
“The Ozark Police Department did not do their job until the last second. They did not interview the person who murdered Tracy Harris until last week. That's wrong,” Harrison said.
The Harris’ daughter, Carolyn Aznavour, sobbed as she spoke about the death of her mother and the arrest of her father, with whom she does not have a relationship.
“I think this is in God’s perfect timing,” she told WTVY. She is grateful that her father’s trial had been postponed several times. Aznavour believes that helped lead investigators to Beasley.
Last week, Harrison raised doubts in court motions about Carl Harris, pointing to yet another man, a convicted rapist, as the possible killer. That person had nothing to do with the crime.
Beasley, the man now charged with murder, is being held on a $150,000 bond. Authorities have not released a motive.