Reliving Rest Area Horror

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

By Mike Vasilinda
September 11, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - In September 1993, Twenty years ago this Saturday, Gary Colley became the ninth tourist killed in Florida that year. Colley and his companion Margaret Jagger were sleeping in this rest area. They were awoken and shot in a robbery gone bad. Jagger stumbled to a nearby pay phone. 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 re-sentenced. “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,” says Eddy Evans, Asst. States Attorney.

The hearing is this Friday, a day before the 20th Anniversary of the murder. Margaret Jagger has flown back to the US from England. She will speak at the re-sentencing. “She is doing fine and she is trying to move on with her life,” says Eddy Evans.

Margaret Jagger has declined to be interviewed before the hearing. But in this 1995 sentencing, the impact of the murder was clear. “I have to live with the mental torture, the memories of that horrific night,” says Margaret Jagger

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

Florida Tourism dropped twenty percent after the shooting. Florida Rest areas still sport nighttime security today.


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