Dale County Circuit Judge William Filmore has denied the motion for a new trial of recently convicted cold case murderer Coley McCraney.

In June, a jury convicted McCraney of four counts of capital murder for the 1999 slayings of two Houston County high school girls, Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley. One of the charges was for capital murder-rape.

The girls, both 17, reportedly got lost on their way back from a party before stopping at an Ozark convenience store on July 31, 1999. Both girls were found in the trunk of Beasley’s car the next day.

McCraney was finally arrested in 2019 after DNA evidence revealed him as a suspect.

In an unusual occurrence, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall acted as the lead prosecutor in the cold case, successfully securing a verdict of life without parole for McCraney.

“I am proud to live in a state that has zero tolerance for those who callously take the lives of others,” Marshall said on Friday. “In Alabama, we will never give up our relentless pursuit of justice for victims and their families.”

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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