300 summonses issued to prospective jurors as McCraney trial nears
That is 50 more than in August, when a mistrial was declared because not enough jurors could be seated. Of 250 prospective jurors summoned then, only 75 showed up.
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Dale County Circuit Clerk Deloris Woodham confirms that 300 prospective jurors are summoned to Coley McCraney’s murder trial next month.
That is 50 more than in August, when a mistrial was declared because not enough jurors could be seated.
Of 250 prospective jurors summoned then, only 75 showed up.
Others were allowed to reschedule because of conflicting plans; five had died, some moved, and a few snubbed their duties.
There seems to be guarded confidence that a jury will be seated this time, as Dale County Circuit Judge William Filmore limits the number of questions attorneys are permitted to ask during the selection process, known as voir dire.
McCraney faces charges that in 1999 he shot J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett, 17-year-old coeds who became lost while searching for a party and ended up in Ozark, where they died, and McCraney lived.
Not until 20 years later did police charge the truck driver and part-time pastor when DNA linked him.
His trial has been delayed several times, partly because of COVID that slowed the justice system to a crawl.
Dale County uses driver’s license records to select prospective jurors instead of voter registration rolls, and the U.S. Postal Service delivers the summons.
12 jurors and two alternates will be selected when McCraney’s trial begins on April 17.
Charged with Capital Murder he faces the death penalty.
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