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Death penalty still on table for accused wife killer

James Colley Jr.
James Colley Jr.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A St Johns County man accused of murdering his estranged wife and her friend in 2015 could still face the death penalty after a judge again denied a motion to block the death penalty in his case.

James Colley, Jr. is charged with shooting and killing Amanda Colley and Lindy Dobbins -- minutes after he left a courthouse after pleading no contest to violating a domestic violence injunction his wife had against him.

Colley’s attorneys asked twice that the death penalty be taken off the table, contending that recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, and changes made by the Florida Legislature, exclude any application of the death penalty in Colley’s case.

But both motions have been denied by the judge.

Colley’s case, like many others in Florida, has ground to a halt, as the courts wait for the Legislature to rewrite the death penalty law to require a unanimous jury recommendation.

There is no trial date set for Colley.