Prosecutors ask judge to bar press, public from hearings

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — Prosecutors are asking a judge to block the press and public from attending pretrial hearings in the high-profile case of a man accused of killing two teenagers decades ago.

Prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to take the unusual step of closing the pretrial proceedings and sealing all case documents until a jury is seated.

Prosecutors said they are concerned pretrial publicity could taint the jury pool. Defense lawyers are objecting to the request, saying they consider it unconstitutional.

Coley McCraney faces capital murder charges in the deaths of Dothan teens J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett.

The bodies of the two 17-year-olds were found in the trunk of a car in 1999. Authorities say they linked McCraney to the slayings after using genetic genealogy techniques on crime scene DNA.

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