A woman who was married to capital murder defendant Coley McCraney filed a criminal complaint with the United States Air Force in 1994, claiming McCraney assaulted her and confined her in a room along with her baby while he was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.
The information from an Air Force incident report was made public in court document postings in the capital murder case against McCraney, charged in the 1999 murders of Dothan teens J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett in Dale County. McCraney is in the Dale County Jail and is being held without bond. His case is expected to be presented to a grand jury this week.
According to court documents, Zappharie L. 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. Mrs. McCraney 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.
The two divorced in 1998.
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.
According to the report, one Hi-Point Model C 9mm pistol was logged into evidence in the case, but the narrative does not appear to indicate how it was recovered. McCraney’s defense team disputes the prosecution assertion that McCraney possessed the gun. Ozark Police Lt. Michael Bryan testified recently during a preliminary hearing in McCraney’s capital murder case that evidence analyzed from the 1999 crime scene indicated Beasley and Hawlett had been shot in the head with a 9mm handgun. Bullets and a shell casing retrieved from the crime scene were analyzed by a forensic investigator who narrowed the likely brands of 9mm weapons to three, including Hi-Point.
Further evidence made public in the court filings include autopsy reports for Beasley and Hawlett, which indicate both were killed from an intermediate range gunshot wound to the head. The report also indicated the blue jeans of Hawlett and the pants, socks and sneakers of Beasley were muddy.