The horror of a 1993 killing of a British tourist will be relived in a North Florida courtroom later this week as one of the defendants, a juvenile at the time, is asking to have his life sentence reduced.
In September 1993, 20 years ago this Saturday, Gary Colley became the ninth tourist killed in Florida in a year. Colley and his companion Margaret Jagger were sleeping in this rest area. They were awoken and shot in a robbery gone bad. Jagger stumbled to a nearby pay phone.
Four juveniles, the youngest 13, were arrested and indicted.
Aundra Akins got life, but because he was only 14 at the time, the courts later ruled he must be re-sentenced.
Assistant States Attorney, Eddy Evans, said, "Given the state of the law at the time, Mr. Akins is now looking at a maximum of 40 years in the department of corrections."
The hearing is this Friday, a day before the 20th Anniversary of the murder. Victim, Margaret Jagger, has flown back to the US from England. She will speak at the re-sentencing.
Evans also says, "She is doing fine and she is trying to move on with her life."
Jagger, has declined to be interviewed before the hearing. But in this 1995 sentencing, the impact of the murder was clear.
Jagger said, "I have to live with the mental torture, the memories of that horrific night."
She goes on, "I have to live with the mental torture, the memories of that horrific night."
Florida Tourism dropped twenty percent after the shooting. Florida Rest areas still sport nighttime security today.
The other defendants in the case are all in prison.
Cedrick Green, who was 13 at the time was sent to prison for armed robbery in 1999. He is due to be released later this year. Deron Spear is serving life for a 1999 armed robbery. And John Crumitie is serving life for his role in the rest stop murder.