1993 Fla. rest area murder to be relived

Defendant asking to have life sentence reduced

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Florida Department of Corrections booking photo of Aundra Akins

MONTICELLO, Fla. - 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.

The survivor of the shooting is back in Florida to speak out at the hearing.

It was a shot fired in a rest area 20 years ago this Saturday that was heard round the world.

On Sept. 14, 1993, Gary Colley (pictured below on right) became the ninth tourist killed in Florida that year. Colley and his companion Margaret Jagger (pictured below on left) were sleeping in the rest area. They were awoken and shot in a robbery gone bad.

Jagger stumbled to a nearby payphone.

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 resentenced.

"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," said Assistant State Attorney Eddy Evans.

The hearing is Friday, a day before the 20th Anniversary of the murder. Jagger has flown back to the U.S. from England. She will speak at the resentencing.

"She is doing fine and she is trying to move on with her life," Evans said.

Jagger has declined to be interviewed before the hearing. But in the 1995 sentencing, the impact of the murder was clear.

"I have to live with the mental torture, the memories of that horrific night," she said then.

As a recognition that times have changed, the payphone with bloody fingertips is long gone and has been replaced with the free motorist call box.

Florida tourism dropped 20 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.

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