OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — Approximately 70 potential jurors arrived at the Dale County Courthouse to be seated in the murder case that’s been over 20 years in the making.
After qualifying questions such as age, residence, and if you are physically and mentally unable to sit through, the juror count dwindled to 58.
The court is trying to get down to 12 jurors with 3-4 alternates.
The state then asked the 58 if they knew anybody involved in the case, asked if they are scared to be on a jury due to philosophical or religious reasons. They also asked about COVID-19 and who had it or who is uncomfortable with masks or uncomfortable with no masks.
The defense made sure to ask if the jurors would hold the state accountable and prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Finally, they asked if the jury would hold it against McCraney if he didn’t testify and if they believe McCraney is guilty.
Another twist in the case — a key witness has been cleared to testify on behalf of McCraney — his wife.
The ruling on her testimony was just made public.
That was one of the final pending motions — and last Friday a judge ruled that Jeanette McCraney will be allowed to testify when the trial starts next week.
Back in July of 1999, Coley McCraney is accused of killing two Dothan teenagers. His wife claims, however, that he was at home at the time of the murders. However, her alibi will not completely clear McCraney because there is still a small window of time where the two weren’t together and McCraney still could have committed the crime.
Jeannette says her husband took a shower and left home before ten p.m. to go to Johnstown to visit his son.
And it is unknown where McCraney went for those almost three hours.
McCraney arrived home right before 1 a.m. Jeanette had the rule to be home by that time as well. And from there she went to help him jump the car off.
Was with McCraney from 12:45 a.m. until the evening of August 1st of 1999.
Another witness that will be able to testify is the former Ozark newspaper delivery boy who said he saw Ozark police officers at the scene of the crime and not McCraney.