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Trial of Alabama trucker charged in 1999 murders of two teenagers delayed until next year because too few jurors show up

Ala. police crack 1999 double murder with DNA
Inspired by DNA tech in Golden State Killer case, Alabama police crack 1999 double murder 04:38

A judge rescheduled the trial of an Alabama trucker charged with murder in the killings of two teenagers in 1999 after too few jurors showed up for the start of the case.

Dale County Circuit Court Judge William H. Filmore delayed the trial of Coley McCraney, 48, in a one-sentence order issued Tuesday, records showed.

Only 75 of 250 prospective jurors showed up for the start of jury selection on Monday, and that number was quickly reduced for reasons including a large amount of publicity about the killings and McCraney's arrest. CBS affiliate WTVY-TV reported that with too few people from which attorneys could select a jury, the judge called off the trial until next year.

J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett, both 17, disappeared after heading out for a party in southeastern Alabama on July 31, 1999. Their bodies were found the next day in the trunk of Beasley's black Mazda along a road in Ozark, with each teen shot in the head.

Tracie Hawlett, left, and J.B. Beasley WTVY

The case sat for decades without an arrest until police hired a company to run crime scene DNA through an online genealogy database. McCraney, who has pleaded not guilty, was arrested in 2019 after authorities said they had found a match with genetic material found at the crime scene.

Last week, the case took a dramatic turn when a woman whose claims about police being involved in the killings said she was lying the whole time.

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