Executive Director Bryan L. Shorstein reported to Historic City News, that 38-year-old James Colley Jr. of St. Augustine was convicted on 2-counts of first-degree murder, 2-counts of attempted first-degree murder, and 3 other felonies, this morning in one of the worst crimes in recent memory in St. Augustine. The jury deliberated for two hours before they found Colley guilty on all counts.
Speaking on behalf of Seventh Judicial Circuit State Attorney R J Larizza, at the conclusion of the week and a half trial, Shorstein said the guilty verdict paves the way for the state to present a case for imposition of the death penalty.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. Going through the trial process is extremely painful for all family members and friends,” Larizza stated after the verdict was read. “The facts of this case are as callous and violent as any I have ever witnessed in my professional career.”
Colley’s shooting of his estranged wife Amanda and her friend Lindy Dobbins sent shock waves around the community in 2015. Following a court appearance where he pled guilty to violation of an injunction for stalking Amanda, Colley returned to her home then shot and killed them both. They were young professional mothers who leave young children behind. Colley shot both victims multiple times as they were begging for their lives.
Homicide Investigative Unit prosecutors Jennifer Dunton and Mark Johnson successfully tried the case for the State. Dunton was the lead prosecutor. Circuit Judge Howard Maltz presided over the trial. The penalty phase is set for Monday. The State will be seeking the death penalty against Colley.