A woman implicates an officer in the teenage murder of Dothan retracts

Ozark, Ala. (WTVY) – A woman who accused Ozark police of covering up the murders of two teens to protect one of them retracted those allegations in explosive testimony Thursday.

“I lied” to determine what evidence will be allowed in the landmark Cole McCranie trial in the murder case, Rina Crump said during a court hearing.

McCranie, who was arrested three years ago, is accused of committing the gruesome shootings of teens Dothan J.P. Beasley and Tracy Howlett in 1999.

But Crump has been counted on to free him with her poignant account of corrupt police involvement and cover-ups.

Once with her own law enforcement aspirations, she claimed that Ozark officers protected those crimes behind the “thin blue line,” ignoring the cop’s drunken admission that he was the real killer.

I told the same story to a man who posted his hypothesis blog on social media where it went viral and sparked a storm of speculation with the public already becoming skeptical because the police had accused the wrong man in this bizarre case in 1999.

“I lied about that, too,” Crump told attorney David Harrison, who is representing McCrane.

Harrison believes he knows why her account has changed, after she met a senior official in the current Ozark Police in February when she was still holding out for the conspiracy theory.

But Crump later learned that the officer who interviewed her was closely related to the man – now retired – that she had spent 16 years accused of the crimes.

Harrison suggested that she was threatened to change her story.

“Did you say (that officer) kill these girls?” Asked.

At first testifying over and over that she doesn’t remember Crump, she eventually exclaims, “I lied.”

The officer she accused took action and vehemently denied involvement, as did the detective who questioned Crump this year.

Before hearing Crump, who has psychological problems, approached the officer who had implicated him and apologized to him.

In further testimony on Thursday, Cole McCranie’s wife recalled that her husband was home before 1 a.m. on August 1, the day police found the bodies in the trunk of a car. It was not possible to explain her testimony about 90 minutes between his arrival and the last time she heard the girls.

A teen who delivered newspapers in the Ozark in 1999 testified that he saw two police cars near the crime scene hours before the bodies were found.

But when Attorney General David Emery examined the cross, the witness retracted, adjusting his statement to reflect that he was “pretty sure” he saw these cop cars along Herring Street.

Emery told Judge William Fillmore that the real evidence was McCranie’s DNA, which he left on Mrs. Beasley after he had descended upon her.

In addition to premeditated murder, he was charged with one rape.

Dale County Judge William Fillmore is considering the testimony, if any, he heard Thursday that will be allowed during McCrany’s trial scheduled for August 15.

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