Lawyers for man accused of killing wife friend try to block death penalty

James Colley Jr.
James Colley Jr.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Lawyers for the St Johns County man accused of murdering his estranged wife and her friend last year are trying again to block prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.

A status conference was held Thursday morning at the courthouse.

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

Colley’s attorneys asked that the death penalty be taken off the table earlier this year. It was denied by the judge.

A new motion was filed this week.

Colley was not in the courtroom Thursday, but the judge wants him present for the next hearing scheduled for Jan. 31. The judge asked that all parties be prepared to say when they’ll be ready to go to trial.

Right now, a decision on the second death penalty motion is pending, because of changes Florida lawmakers will have to make to the death penalty law.