Coley McCraney preliminary hearing

Coley McCraney shakes hands with his attorney David Harrison as he enters the Dale County Courthouse before an April 3 preliminary hearing.

A Dale County judge won’t exclude a military record of a man charged with the 20-year-old murders of two Dothan teenagers.

Judge Stanley Garner Jr. issued an order Wednesday, June 5, denying the defense attorney’s request to strike Exhibit 4, the military records of Coley McCraney, who is charged in the 1999 murders of Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley.

Exhibit 4 is an incident/complaint report from the security police at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, dated April 11, 1994.

The complaint was filed by Zappharie L. McCraney, who was then married to McCraney. She claimed McCraney assaulted her and confined her in a room along with her baby while he was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.

Mrs. McCraney approached an entry gate to Keesler Air Force Base on April 11, 1994, claiming she had been struck by Coley McCraney with a gun and gun magazine. According to the incident report, law enforcement indicated a sergeant noted an area on her head where her hair appeared to have been pulled out and a bruise that was forming on her left cheek. She later filed a written statement in which she indicated she was locked in a room with her baby after being struck with the magazine of a Hi-Point 9mm handgun.

Police investigated the incident and located Coley McCraney and a civilian walking near the McCraney residence. Six 9mm rounds and a broken 9mm magazine were found on the civilian and a Buck knife was found on McCraney. The civilian was charged with trespassing and McCraney was charged with aggravated assault, assault consummated by battery upon a child under 16, unlawful detention and possession of a concealed weapon. McCraney was placed in pre-trial confinement. Documents related to the resolution of the case were not included in court filings. The Dothan Eagle has filed a records request with the U.S. Air Force related to the case, but the request has not yet been acknowledged.

The two divorced in 1998.

Defense Attorney David Harrison filed the motion to strike on May 30, stating in his motion the court heard the evidence and saw the document labeled Exhibit 4, and the evidence was the civilian Ferrod McDaniels had possession of the 9mm gun and not McCraney.

Garner denied the motion, stating the report mentioned in Harrison’s motion was documented by the state and that it was admitted into evidence at a preliminary hearing without any objection from the defendant.

McCraney’s case is scheduled to go before a grand jury June 6.

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