DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — The case of Coley McCraney is set to begin in a Dale County courtroom on April 17 and the judge has denied a few proposed actions ahead of the scheduled trial.
The biggest ruling came with Judge William Filmore denying the motion to prohibit the death penalty without a unanimous sentencing verdict in McCraney’s case
The court denied this motion because they say the law is clear and that if 10 out of the 12 jurors recommend the sentence of death then that is what the sentence will be.
The judge adds that the court will not rewrite the law and that it is the job of the legislature to change the law, not the court. So if McCraney, the man accused of killing J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett in 1999 is found guilty he could be facing the death penalty, without all 12 jurors agreeing on that sentence.
Judge Filmore also denied the defense’s action for the ability to use evidence and argue lingering uncertainty about facts, also known as residual doubt.
300 random Dale County residents have been summoned to the jury pool on April 17th, which is 50 more than were summoned during McCraney’s last attempt at a trial, where only 75 potential jurors showed up and they were not able to seat a jury.
Now they will attempt again at seating a jury in the case, but not before at least five more motions, in this case, will be heard by Judge Filmore.
This includes a motion to allow the jury to visit the crime scene, a motion to suppress any statements that McCraney allegedly made when he was first arrested by Ozark Police in March of 2019, and a motion to suppress evidence of the car that Beasley and Hawlett were allegedly found in.
Judge William Filmore has scheduled another hearing on April 13, to hear the remaining motions.
Just four days until the trial is scheduled to begin.