Attorney warns not to jump to conclusions about double murder case

Attorney David Harrison discusses the murders of two teens in this March 19, 2019 photo.
By  | 

Ozark (WTVY)-- An attorney who represents the man charged with murdering two teens hopes people won't jump to conclusions.

“Give this man his constitutional right. Let the evidence be presented,” David Harrison told WTVY's Devon Sellers Tuesday.

45-year old Coley McCraney is charged with capital murder in deaths of two 17-year old high school students in 1999. J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett had been shot in the head and one of them raped, investigators claim.

Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker said DNA evidence obtained through a genealogy website, and confirmed by genetic experts, led police to McCraney, ending a 20-year old cold case investigation.

Harrison believes, though, evidence could be flawed. “When I see the term DNA I think Do Not Ask because it seems when people hear the term DNA they don't question it. When I started practicing law (28 years ago) the fingerprint test was absolute. It didn't lie. Hair follicle tests didn't lie. Well, we found out later that's not true,” he said.

McCraney is a military veteran with no criminal record, Harrison said. In addition to his wife, he has six children and eight grandchildren.

Harrison said he has met with McCraney multiple times following his arrest. A preliminary hearing is scheduled April 3.

(Watch the full interview above this story.)