Alabama man admits to 1990 murder after victim’s husband cleared of crime

Published 11:12 am Tuesday, July 7, 2020

An Alabama man who was charged in a 1990 slaying in which another man was cleared has pleaded guilty in the killing.

Jeff Beasley, 54, pleaded guilty to murder in Ozark on Monday and received a 30-year sentence from Dale County Circuit Judge William H. Filmore, news outlets reported.

Beasley was arrested in January in the strangulation of 22-year-old Tracy Harris, whose body was found in the Choctawhatchee River about a week after she went missing in March 1990.

No one was arrested for decades until the victim’s husband, Carl Harris Jr., was charged with murder in 2016. He was about to stand trial in January until Beasley confessed to the killing.

Harris is now seeking $6 million from the city where he was charged. Prosecutor Kirke Adams expressed sympathy for Harris being wrongly arrested, but he said evidence had pointed toward him being responsible for the slaying.