Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker Monday Press ConferenceRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Mar 18 2019 10:51 AM
APRIL 18, 2019
PRESS CONFERENCE OF OZARK POLICE CHIEF MARLOS WALKER
This morning at 10 AM Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker held a press conference concerning the recent arrest in the Hawlett and Beasley murders from 1999.
Retired Ozark Police Chief Tony Spivey, Retired Dothan Police Chief John White, Retired Alabama Bureau of Investigation Captain Barry Tucker, Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, along with other retired and current law enforcement officers were flanked behind Chief Walker.
IN 1999 two Dothan teenagers were killed in Ozark. For 19 years these cases have gone unsolved.
Last fall Chief Walker brought in a lab in Virginia to assist in this case. The description from the DNA gave a description of the suspect and test narrowed it down to a single suspect.
On March 15, 2019 investigators located and arrested McCraney. Law Enforcement Officers made a traffic stop of McCraney near Daleville and he was taken into custody without incident.
Chief Walker grew up in Ozark and knew the defendant. Chief Walker, like others in Ozark, was surprised when the investigation through DNA identified him.
Through the crime scene investigation and evidence gathered, through DNA collected the day the bodies were recovered and that evidence preserved, allowed the genetic genealogy to identify the suspect.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall was present for the press conference. AG Marshall first spoke to the family. Marshall realizes the years this family has had to endure pain with a lot of questions that have been unanswered. The people in this room from 199 forward have worked to solve this case. Today is a happy day to announce the arrest and hopefully begin to provide answers. But reminded there is still a lot of work to be done in order to obtain a conviction in a court of law.
AG Marshall praised Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker for his determination, thinking out of the box, willingness to reach out like he did on the genetics genealogy. AG Marshall thanked Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting for providing Chief Walker the resources for this case to be pursued and all leads followed up on.
AG Marshall praised the 33rd Judicial Circuit Prosecutor Kirke Adams. A very capable man for the task of presenting this case in a court of law. Marshall also said his office is willing and able to assist District Attorney Kirke Adams in anyway possible as this case proceeds in court.
AG Marshall said no case is a cold case in that it is forgotten. The arrest in this case is proof that patience and leads result in solving a case. And law enforcement in Alabama is always working cases and waiting on additional leads and other eyes review material with fresh ideas in order to solve the cases.
AG Marshall again praised Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker for his determined efforts in solving this case. Marshall also said emerging technology aids and assists law enforcement in solving cases.
District Attorney Kirke Adams spoke to the multiple Capital Murder offenses. When the commission of several crimes result in the death Capital Murder can be charged. When the deaths were in a vehicle the law calls for an additional Capital Murder charge. There were several crimes that occurred and Adams explained those and why 5 Capital Murder charges on two victims.
DA Kirke Adams spoke to the family and thanked them for their patience and trust. He knows they have been told many times since 1999 that a question can not be answered. But as this case progresses through court hopefully questions would be answered. Adams would not speak to much of the facts in the case because he does not want to place in jeopardy anything that could hamper this case presentation in a court of law.
When the question was asked if Adams would seek the death penalty, he quickly answered YES. When asked when Adams made that decision he quickly answered that decision was made about 10 years ago.
Kirke Adams thanked the men and women in the room that represented law enforcement. Since day one in 1999 all of the officers standing behind him, some not standing behind him, some not alive today, have worked many hours on this case for this day to happen.
No motive has been established. The defendant was a truck driver. The question was asked if they had any information other murders have occurred and the possibility this man could be responsible. Chief Walker said at this time they do not have any information he is a suspect in any other death but that is something that will be looked at.
Chief Walker described how several weeks ago as the information was uncovered he sit in his desk chair for about three hours thinking. Asking himself, did this really happen, do they have the right man. And he just sit there and thought quietly in his office, alone, thinking and reflecting.
After the three hours Chief Walker got up and they continued the investigation and fact gathering. Chief Walker described the last 48 hours as he saw people you could tell just by the expression on their face the signs of relief that finally an arrest had been made and a road to closure.
Chief Walker said a lot of people have spent many hours on this case. Walker thanked the men and women of Ozark Police, Dale County Sheriff Department, 33rd Judicial District Attorney Office, Alabama Attorney General’s Office, ALEA – State Bureau of Investigation and in 1999 the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Dothan Police Department, Houston County Sheriff Department, and Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
Chief Walker thanked Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting and the members of Ozark City Council who never said no when things or money was needed to pursue leads in this case.
But most of all, Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker thanks the family of these two beautiful young girls who lost their life at the hands of a murderer. The hurt they have had to endure over these years. The pain they have suffered. The questions that have had that could not be answered. And some of those answers because details can not be released because it could jeopardize the investigation. To the families, thank you for your patience.