DALE COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — Judge William Filmore has ruled on a motion to record the court proceedings in the upcoming McCraney murder trial.

This will allow the court to record any and all proceedings in the McCraney case.

Coley McCraney, who was arrested in 2019, is accused of killing teenagers Tracie Hawlett and J.B Beasley in the summer of 1999.

On March 3, McCraney’s attorney filed multiple requests for jury instructions for Judge William Filmore to issue. One of which asks for the court to prohibit the death penalty without a unanimous jury verdict. This means if found guilty, McCraney would need a unanimous verdict in favor of the death penalty, if it is not unanimous McCraney would serve life in prison without the chance for parole.

The state currently requires 10 out of 12 jurors to vote in favor of the death penalty.

Another request submitted was the motion to submit evidence and argue residual doubt at the penalty phase. This means if McCraney is found guilty, the defense can submit evidence and argue his innocence before a penalty is set.

Preliminary investigation in this case has revealed that the State’s case relies on minimal circumstantial evidence. If Mr. McCraney is convicted, his defense strategy at the penalty phase will similarly highlight his innocence and reasonable doubt as to his guilt.

Motion to submit evidence of and argue residual doubt at the penalty phase

Judge Filmore has not yet ruled on any other motions today and the next hearing is set for April 13.

McCraney’s case has gone through many changes over the past few months. In August, the trial was postponed for nearly a year after the court was unable to gather a potential jury.

In November, McCraney’s bond was denied, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall joined the prosecution.

The trial is set for April 17, in the Dale County Courthouse