Attorney David Harrison has accused the Ozark Police Department of using a death row inmate in an attempt to draw a confession from accused double murderer Coley McCraney.
According to Harrison, McCraney, the man accused of killing teens Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley 20 years ago, sat across the way from a convicted murderer and death row inmate as an attempt by Ozark PD to get McCraney’s confession.
Emanuel Gissendanner has been on death row for 15 years for the murder of a 77-year-old woman that he allegedly raped and killed.
“Gissendanner tells Coley, ‘Hey these guys really want you bad,'” said McCraney’s attorney, David Harrison. “They want information. They asked me to keep asking information about you.”
Gissendanner is now sitting in the Dale County Jail as he waits for his upcoming court date.
Harrison told News 18 Gissendanner has “the ultimate reason” to try to help police find dirt on McCraney.
“When law enforcement can’t get credible evidence against somebody or a confession, they put somebody in the cell with them to try to entice him to say things to him,” Harrison said.
Yet, law enforcement officers said there’s no hidden agenda and that it’s common for inmates accused of similar crimes to be placed together.
“Our policy (is) we house inmates for a variety of different reasons and factors and one of those being the severity of the crime they’ve been accused of or convicted of,” said Chief Deputy Mason Bynum.
At last report, the two inmates have been separated.
Reports also say Gissendanner might soon be a free man if he’s found not guilty in his new trial.