Killer gets 40-year jail term for 1993 crime

Gary Colley and Margaret Jagger
Gary Colley and Margaret Jagger

THE killer of man who was murdered in a botched robbery 20 years ago in Florida has been jailed for 40 years for the attempted murder of his victim’s partner.

Aundra Akins, who was just 14 when he gunned down Wilsden holidaymaker Gary Colley, son of Terry Colley from Brighouse, in 1993, was given 27 years in 1997 – the maximum he could receive as a juvenile.

Aundra Akins who received a life sentence for the murder of Gary Colley

Aundra Akins who received a life sentence for the murder of Gary Colley

He later also received a life sentence for the attempted murder of Mr Colley’s girlfriend Margaret Jagger but this was later overturned.

On Friday, he was given a 40-year sentence for that crime.

A court official at Jefferson County Court said: “Aundra Akins was sentenced to 40 years to run consecutively to his previous sentence of 27 years for the murder of Gary Colley.”

Ms Jagger, from Bradford, travelled to Monticello, Florida, for the hearing.

Speaking before the case, she told local news outlet WCTV: “I didn’t think I would have to come back again.

“Both he and I have served time in different ways.”

Ms Jagger, who was shot and seriously injured in the incident at a highway rest area near Monticello, 25 miles from Tallahassee, said Akins needs to show he can stay out of trouble, WCTV reported.

Akins told the judge in Friday’s hearing that at the time he did not comprehend the magnitude of what happened, but said he does now, the news outlet said.

His mother was reported to have also appeared at the hearing, and in asking the judge to release her son, she said: “I understand what he did was wrong. I know he won’t be no trouble to nobody.”

His brother, cousin and uncle are also understood to have testified.

Mr Colley, 34, and Ms Jagger were on their way to Tampa when they were targeted by a gang of youths as they rested in their car in the early hours of September 14, 1993, woken by the tapping of a gun against one of the windows.

Mr Colley was shot dead, hit in the neck, while his partner of 14 years suffered chest and arm injuries. The incident was seen by a witness who told police he saw three black youths, aged about 16, drive into the lay-by. Two of them approached the pair’s vehicle to demand money and the shooting began seconds later.

The lorry driver was the ninth foreign tourist to be killed in the state since the previous autumn, and the second that week. The number of incidents that year prompted the Foreign Office to issue a warning to Britons thinking of travelling to the state - guidance which has since been lifted but which contributed to a drop in tourist revenue for Florida of 20 per cent. Night-time security measures imposed around Florida rest areas at the time are still in place.

As well as Atkins, Cedric Green, who was 13 at the time of the killing, and John Crumitie, who was 17, were convicted for their roles in the 1993 murder. Green, who pleaded no contest and testified against the others, served a community sentence while Atkins had a 27-year sentence as part of a plea deal.

Green’s older brother Deron Spear was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to commit armed robbery and being an accessory. He was released after two.