Who is Coley McCraney?

A closer look at the man accused of killing J.B. Beasley and Tracy Hawlett
Murder suspect Coley McCraney is escorted into the Dale County courthouse on March 17, 2022
Murder suspect Coley McCraney is escorted into the Dale County courthouse on March 17, 2022
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 7:12 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The man accused of killing J.B Beasley and Tracy Hawlett was never on the radar of police until his DNA matched their case in March of 2019.

McCraney was 26 years old at the time of the crime. He has lived in the area most of his life. When arrested, he was serving as a bishop at a local church and a truck driver.

A graduate of Carroll High School, McCraney then spent time in the US Navy serving in Biloxi. He would come back to Ozark and was living on Lisenby Drive, about a mile from the crime scene, at the time of the murders.

While in Biloxi, records show he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In September 1998, McCraney was sued in a paternity case. As part of the suit he was ordered to submit his DNA by a judge on July 30, 1999, just a day before the killings.

McCraney failed to appear for the test so he was summoned to do so again. He would ignore that request and eventually agree to pay child support instead. Several additional child support petitions over a period of several years were filed claiming he had failed to pay.

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