EXCLUSIVE: Father of J.B. Beasley skeptical of new findings in daughter’s murder

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JACK, Ala. (WDHN) — Hilton Lanier Beasley, the father of murder victim J.B. Beasley, is skeptical that Coley McCraney, 45, of Dothan murdered his daughter and her best friend, Tracie Hawlett.

This August marks the 20th anniversary of when both girls were found in the trunk of Beasley’s black Mazda, dead from gunshots to the head. 

When WDHN spoke with Beasley at his home in Jack, he said his adviser told him it would be difficult for one person to commit such a heinous double murder.

“This is not the work of a single person,” he said. “(We) may be wrong, but my attitude is I just have to wait and evaluate.”

Beasley fondly remembered J.B. along her best friend Tracie and what joy they would bring to just about everyone they met.

“(J.B.) was intelligent,” he said. “She was energetic. She was athletic. She was kind, although she was very competitive, and she also had a keen sense of humor. She was just a joy to be around.”

Despite his doubts, Beasley said he believes in the legal system and that he’d be satisfied if a Dale County jury convicted McCraney without a reasonable doubt.

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