Do texts show motive in double murder?

James Colley Jr. charged with killing estranged wife, friend

By Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter, Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - News4Jax is getting a closer look at the days and hours leading up to the shocking double murder of two women in August in St. Johns County.

James Colley Jr. is charged with murdering his estranged wife, Amanda Colley, and her friend, Lindy Dobbins, at the couple's St. Augustine home.

Police said Colley was in court that day for violating a domestic violence injunction that his wife had gotten against him. They said he left court and went to the home, shooting and killing the two women.

News4Jax read through hundreds pages of text messages that were released Monday in the case.

The messages between James and Amanda Colley show a tumultuous relationship -- a marriage headed for divorce with two children caught in between. They also reveal a possible motive for the shootings that killed Amanda Colley and her friend.

James Colley was apparently unhappy about a relationship that he believed his estranged wife had with another man, Lamar Douberly.

Douberly was one of four people inside the Colleys' home when James Colley came from the backyard, pulled out a handgun and started shooting into the home's sliding glass doors, according to deputies.

Deputies said he began yelling, "Where is he?" as he tried to find Douberly, who had run out of the house.

Text messages between Amanda Colley and Douberly reveal what appears to be a romantic relationship.

She sent this text to Douberly just days before she died:

“You are the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I have yet to figure out what I did to deserve you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you do for me. I’m not used to it, so I’m not the best at saying thank you. I love you.”

The text messages show that Amanda Colley and Douberly were looking at houses and considering living together once their divorces were final.

Messages between Amanda Colley and he estranged husband days before the deadly shooting show that she didn't want James Colley to know about her relationship with Douberly.

Colley texted his wife:

“Oh, and your boyfriend has been parking at the playground and walking around the back. The whole nahborjood hood (neighborhood) knows!!!!!”
“You should just have him park out front like a man.”
“Yeah….Everyone knows.”
“What you are.”
“Don’t worry, I will speak with him face to face sooner then later.”

Amanda Colley replied:

“He’s not my boyfriend like I’ve told you before. He helps me with the yard work, paint, moving furniture, etc.”

James Colley asked:

“So why doesn’t he pro (park) in the driveway if he isn’t hiding?”
“And I guess he is married, right?”
“I have a pic of him.”

Amanda Colley offered this explanation:

“He ... parked in the driveway and at the park to avoid this happening.”

The messages set the stage for what authorities said led to the shootings. The day before the murders, Colley texted his wife, asking for another chance.

The text message read: "Please try to start forgiving me so we can move on … I really miss u and our family being together."

And on the day of the murders, Colley sent the following text messages to his wife:

"You’re an awesome persons…"
"Don’t take (me) from my kids, it’s all I have."
"Call me, or I am going to come find you."

Other texts from Amanda Colley to some of James’ family members expressed worry about the couple’s children.

"I just wanted you all to see what your brother is capable of, and why I am scared for the safety of my kids," one text read.

She was referring to an incident in which her estranged husband was accused of taking clothes from her closet and setting them on fire in the yard.

Family members challenged Amanda Colley on her husband’s behavior. Conversations between Amanda Colley and her friends, including Dobbins, who was also murdered, discussed the sadness she felt about fighting with her husband and the effects it was having on her children. Days later, she and Dobbins were dead.

James Colley Jr. also ransacked the home before the murders and confessed to his father minutes after the shootings that he shot the two women, according to deputies.

James Colley Jr. is being held at the St. Johns County Jail without bond and is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on April 6.

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