Nearly half on McCraney jury list cut

Coley's McCraney is led from the Dale County Courthouse in this 2019 photo.
Coley's McCraney is led from the Dale County Courthouse in this 2019 photo.
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
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DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVY) - Attorneys want an emergency hearing after court officials dismissed nearly half of the prospective jurors summoned for Coley McCraney’s murder trial, a court document reveals.

Defense attorneys claim that only 153 of 300 mailed summons remain on the list, and they want the Dale County Circuit Clerk’s Office to reveal the race of those excused and the reason for their dismissal.

With little doubt, not all the remaining prospects will show up Monday when McCraney goes on trial for the 1999 murders of Dothan teens JB Beasley and Tracie Hawlett.

In August, with a prospective pool of 250, the judge declared a mistrial when only 75 showed up and 15 could not be seated.

With fewer COVID issues, 14 jurors are sought this time, including two alternates.

Dale County uses voter registration rolls to select its jury pool and mails summons that are sometimes not received for several reasons, including recipients moving elsewhere.

Court officials attempt to accommodate conflicts and reschedule most of those who have them.

Filmore has not ruled on the emergency hearing request.

Watch JB and Tracie: The Teen Murders here.

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