ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The second day of testimony in the trial of James Colley Jr., the St. Johns County man accused of killing his estranged wife and her friend in 2015, included forensic evidence and witnesses discussing the toxic relationship between him and Amanda Colley.
James Colley held his head, covered his ears, and, at one point put his head down on the defense table as Friday's evidence was presented. The medical examiner described the nine gunshot wounds Amanda Colley suffered and showed gruesome crime scene photos to the jury.
"The projectile passed through the wrist, slightly upwards," said Chief Medical Examiner Predrag Bulic.
Evidence of photographs of weapons and a gun case found in Colley's home were shown in court.
A crime scene technician testified ammunition found in Colley's home matched the bullets found in the victims.
A crime scene technician testified of finding bullets in Colley's closet, the same type of bullets found in Amanda's body.
A St. Johns County deputy testified regarding an injunction filed to keep Colley away from his wife.
A dog walker who witnessed Colley's father in a heated phone call testified, as did a bicyclist who found a disposable cell and turned it over to police. Testimony also included angry text messages and voicemails including the following phone messages from Colley to his estranged wife:
"Don’t do nothing to me, I won’t do nothing to you."
"I won’t bring this up in court, about what you really are, and we both know what you really are. You’re lucky I don’t tell our children about this. You’re f*&#$ disgusting. That’s what you are."
"Please talk to me, please."
"Amanda (inaudible) baby, please baby. This is last time I’m calling today. Please."
James Colley is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two burglary counts and a count of aggravated stalking.
He was arrested following a traffic stop in Norton, Virginia, after another driver reported nearly being run off the road. He was later extradited to Florida.
Late Friday, testimony ended for the day. The prosecution was expected to continue Monday morning and could rest its case by afternoon.
Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if Colley is convicted.
Opening day of testimony
A woman who survived the fatal rampage in 2015 recounted the harrowing details as she testified in the trial for the man accused of gunning down her two friends.
Rachel Hendricks had to take a steadying breath when she was asked to point out James Colley Jr. in a St. Johns County courtroom that was crowded with those who knew and loved the two slain women.
Colley, 38, is charged with killing Hendricks' friends -- Colley's estranged wife, Amanda Colley, and her best friend, Lindy Dobbins -- at the Colleys' Murabella home in August 2015.
Hendricks testified that on Aug. 27, 2015, Colley showed up uninvited at the home, looking for a man he believed was in a relationship with Amanda Colley, 36.
Hendricks said she was in the home when James Colley, who had been ordered by a judge earlier that morning not to have contact with his wife, appeared in the backyard of the home carrying a gun and opened fire.
She described running and hiding with Dobbins, 39, in a walk-in closet in the bathroom and bracing the door to keep James Colley out.
Hendricks said she could hear him screaming at Amanda Colley, who was in the bathroom, asking, “Where is he? Where is he?” and cursing at her.
She said she heard a gunshot, then never heard Amanda Colley's voice again.
Hendricks said a shot fired through the closet door grazed her arm and felt “like a rug burn.”
She said Colley put the handgun he was carrying up to Dobbins' head, and that's when Hendricks ran out of the closet and through the front door, looking for help. She heard a shot as she fled.
Hendricks broke down crying on the stand as prosecutors played the 911 call she made from a neighbor's house after running from the shooting. In the call, she repeatedly said she was scared for her life.
Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Lynne Dunton said Colley was looking for Lamar Douberly at the home that day after leaving threatening messages for his estranged wife.
"Call me or I'm going to come find you," Dunton quoted, along with several expletive-laced rants.
According to prosecutors, sometime before the murders, Colley became enraged when he was sent a photo showing Douberly mowing Amanda Colley's lawn without a shirt on. Prosecutors said a neighbor, who was identified as Mike Dickens, took the photo and sent it to Colley's sister, who then texted it to her brother.
Douberly also testified Thursday about his relationship with Amanda Colley, the shooting rampage and the events that led up to the shooting.
Douberly said when the shooting started and he heard James Colley yelling, "Where is he?" he realized he might be the target and fled. He said he ran into the garage, rolled under the garage door and ran from the home. He wasn't hurt and found someone a few streets away to call 911.
Dunton said Amanda Colley heard Dobbins being shot in the closet before James Colley found her, wounded on the bathroom floor, and shot her multiple times as she begged for her life.
The state told the jury that the murders were premeditated because Colley broke in around 4 a.m. that day and ransacked the home, then returned hours later and killed Amanda Colley and Dobbins.
Colley's attorney, Terry Shoemaker, said it’s not a question of whether or not Colley is guilty, but what would lead him to do this. Shoemaker said Colley was heavily medicated for depression, anxiety and other medical issues, and because of that, he wasn’t himself.
“The question isn’t who did that. The question is why did it happen? How could this happen? How could a person who loved his family more than anything in his life do that?" Shoemaker said.
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