Man Re-Sentenced for Tourist Murder

By: Julie Montanaro; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Julie Montanaro; Lanetra Bennett Email

UPDATED By Julie Montanaro
September 13, 2013

A shooting that killed a British tourist and stunned the world 20 years ago played out in a Jefferson County courtroom again today.

Aundra Akins, one of the teens convicted in the murder, had to be
re-sentenced and the woman who survived the shooting had to once again to travel to America to face the triggerman.

"Out holiday turned straight to hell, Margaret Jagger said as she took the witness stand again.

On September 14th, 1993 Margaret Jagger woke up at an I-10 rest stop to the sound of tapping on the glass and a hail of bullets. She was shot and one of those bullets killed her boyfriend Gary Colley.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary - she was back in a Jefferson County courtroom... to face the man accused of pulling the trigger.

"Both he and I have served time in different ways. My sentence will never come to an end," Jagger said.

Aundra Akins was serving a life sentence for it all, but an appeals court ruled that sentence unconstitutional because Akins was just 14 at the time of the crime.

Now he's 34. He asked a judge for a second chance and asked Jagger for forgiveness.

"I'm not the kid I was before. I am a grown man and I really want to make a difference and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me," Akins said.

Akins pointed to a GED, trade certificates and a Christrian retreat as proof he's changed.

But Judge Karen Gievers sentenced Akins to the maximum, another 40 years in prison.

"It would feel a bit strange to see him walk free and thinking that at first he would've been in for life until his natural death, so um, I suppose this is a halfway house," Jagger said of the sentence.

"It's a big coincidence that this happened on this day, so it's very strange. It's 20 years tomorrow that Gary died. So it's pretty emotional," Jagger said.

Jagger will visit the scene of the crime at that Jefferson County rest stop to lay flowers there tomorrow. Then she and her new companion will try to enjoy another "holiday" in Florida.


By: Julie Montanaro
September 13, 2013 12:45 PM

Aundra Akins was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the attempted murder of Margaret Jagger which will run consecutive to the 27 year sentence he is still serving in the murder of Gary Colley.


By: Julie Montanaro
September 13, 2013 11:05 AM

Aundra Akins said he was just trying to get some money the night he fired into Margaret Jagger and Gary Colley's car.

"I knew I shot into the car by I didn't know I actually hit anyone," Akins said.

Did you really comprehend the magnitude of it then?

"No sir."

Do you comprehend the magnitude now?

"Yes Sir."

Akins said he testified against co-defendant Billy Joe Crumitie and offered to testify against the others. "I was owning up," he said, "I felt like it was the right thing to do."

Akins said when he was serving life in prison he had no
hope, but that has changed. He got his GED last year, completed a carpentry class. a commercial painting class, and a cooking class so he would have skills to get a job when he gets out.


By: Julie Montanaro
September 13, 2013, 10:45 am

Aundra Akins' mother took the stand and asked the judge to release him a soon as possible.

Beatrice Brooks told the court she wasn't the best mother to Akins and didn't discipline him like she should have. She said he'd been in trouble since he was 12.

Brooks said Akins has changed his life in the last few years and he had found The Lord.

"I understand what he did was wrong. I know he won't be no trouble to nobody," Brooks said. She said he would also be a great help to her in dealing with COPD, diabetes and more.

Brooks said Akins could live with her and he had a job prospect with a relative who works at a cleaning service.

As Brooks concluded her testimony she asked to say something to Margaret Jagger, but the judge said that would have to wait until after the hearing and only if Jagger agreed.

Akins brother, cousin and uncle also testified. So did attorney Mark Olive who initially represented Akins back in the 90's.

Aundra Akins is now taking the witness stand.


By: Julie Montanaro
September 13, 2013, 9:40am

British tourist Margaret Jagger was shot at a Monticello rest stop 20 years ago today. Her companion Gary Colley was shot and killed.

Today Aundra Aikens is back in court in Monticello for re-sentencing. He was one of the young men convicted in the shooting.

An appeals court recently ruled Akins could not be sentenced to life in prison for it because he was only 14 at the time of the crime.

Jagger traveled all the way from England to testify at today's sentencing.

"I didn't think I would have to come back again," Jagger said. "Both he and I have served time in different ways."

Jagger testified that Akins may have turned a corner by receiving a GED and earning trade certificates in prison, but "maybe he needs more time." He needs to show he can stay out of trouble, she said.

Prosecutors argue Akins should be sentenced to the maximum of 40 years. They point out he had 15 felonies and 12 misdemeanors on his juvenile record before this deadly shooting.


By: Lanetra Bennett
April 8, 2013

Jefferson County, FL - A British tourist whose boyfriend was shot and killed at a Florida rest stop nearly 20 years ago will have to face one of his convicted killers again.

Ours were the only cameras rolling when Aundra Akins walked into court in Jefferson County this morning.

He is one of the men accused of killing British tourist Gary Colley and injuring his girlfriend at a Jefferson County rest stop back in 1993.

The First District Court of Appeals recently threw out Akins' life sentence and ordered him to be re-sentenced.

That means Colley's girlfriend will have to make the trip across the pond again to testify about that terrifying night.

Prosecutor Eddie Evans says, "In a case this old, it brings up a lot of history and a lot of pain for people in the past that everybody thought this issue was settled. Now, we're reopening old wounds, so they're going to be looking at getting out of prison. Where for years and years and years they thought they would not. So, that is a very difficult thing for someone to have to go through."

The DCA ruled Akins' life sentence for attempted murder was "unconstitutional" because Akins was just 14 at the time of the crime.

Today, the judge set a tentative re-sentencing date of May 28th.


By: Lanetra Bennett
April 8, 2013

Jefferson County, FL - Aundra Akins went before Judge Karen Gievers at the Jefferson County Courthouse this morning.

Judge Gievers said that it would be unfair to proceed with re-sentencing Akins because he did not have an attorney. The public defenders office has a conflict of interest. Therefore, the prosecutor says the Regional Conflict Council will most likely represent Akins.

A new court date to re-sentence Akins was tentatively set for May 28th.

The girlfriend of the victim, Margaret Jagger, is expected to come from England to testify at the hearing.


November 30, 2012 by Julie Montanaro

One of the teens accused of killing a British tourist at a Jefferson County rest stop nearly 20 years ago will soon get a new day in court.

Aundra Akins is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The First District Court of Appeals today ruled that sentence "unconstitutional," because Akins was just 14 at the time of the crime.

Akins was among those convicted of shooting and killing British tourist Gary Colley and wounding his girlfriend Margaret Jagger back in 1993.

The appeals court ordered Akins to be resentenced on the attempted murder charge.

To read the opinion for yourself log on to: http://opinions.1dca.org/written/


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