After charges dropped against husband, another man pleads guilty in cold case murder

After charges dropped against husband, another man pleads guilty in cold case murder
Jeff Beasley walks into the Dale County Courthouse on July 6, 2020. (Source: WTVY)

OZARK, Ala. (WTVY) - Jeff Beasley, charged in a cold case murder after police had mistakenly arrested another man, received a 30-year prison sentence on Monday after pleading guilty in Dale County Circuit Court.

Ozark police charged Beasley with the 1990 strangulation of Tracey Harris only hours before her ex-husband, Carl Harris, Jr., would have gone on trial in January.

That’s because Dale County Assistant District Attorney Jordan Davis turned up new evidence in the case. She successfully contacted Jeff Beasley’s former wife after exhausting all but the final lead on her whereabouts.

Ms. Beasley admitted to Davis her former husband Jeff Beasley, and not Carl Harris, strangled Tracey Harris and tossed her body in the Choctawhatchee River.

Though charges were dropped, Harris’ daughter, Carolyn Aznavour, believes her father could have plotted with Beasley to kill her mother. She said police reports indicate that Carl Harris habitually abused her mother.

Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams said Beasley, 54, will most likely have to serve 85 percent of his 30-year sentence, meaning he would be about 80 when released.

Carl Harris has filed a $6 million claim against the City of Ozark, claiming officer negligence in his arrest.

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