DALE COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — After nearly two days of questions and lengthy private interviews, the murder trial of Coley McCraney has its most vital part, a jury.

With a jury now seated, Attorney David Harrison, representing McCraney, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, representing the state, can get the ball rolling with opening arguments and the trial can begin in earnest after 4 years of the case going back and forth in court. Opening arguments are expected to start Wednesday morning.

The jury is made up of 7 men and 7 women. Two of the men are serving as alternates.

The second day of the McCraney Murder Trial started with 74 potential jurors sitting in the courtroom, waiting to be called back for private interviews, which began Monday afternoon.

During these interviews, the defense and the prosecution would call potential jurors to a private space one by one and ask them only two questions: What do you know of Coley McCraney and his case, and what is your stance on the death penalty? McCraney is accused of the 1999 summer murder of teens JB Beasley and Tracie Hawlett. He was arrested almost 20 years after the murders took place.

Not long after the defense and prosecution went back to continue to lengthy process, Judge William Filmore announced all potential jurors who were interviewed on Monday were dismissed until 2:00 p.m. This cleared out almost a quarter of the courtroom.

The remaining potential jurors sat in the courtroom, some murmuring to one another, others sitting in silence awaiting their turn for the interview.

Hours later, at around noon, Judge Filmore entered the courtroom and announced the interviews were taking longer than expected and dismissed for lunch. Filmore did not specify why the interviews were taking longer than originally anticipated and there were still around 20 potential jurors waiting to be interviewed.

Once the court reconvened and the final potential jurors were interviewed, Judge Filmore again came out and said it was taking longer than they were hoping, and over an hour later, both sides entered the courtroom and made the long-awaited announcement that they finally had a jury.

Judge Filmore described the jury as the most important part of any trial, especially one of this nature.

“Jury is the embodiment of democracy,” Filmore said.

Many feared a jury would not be seated this time. Last August, the state attempted to put McCraney on trial, but when only 75 of the potential 250 jurors showed up, and a full jury could not be seated, Judge Filmore declared a mistrial.

Stay with WDHN as we follow one of the most significant trials in Wiregrass history.