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British tourist testifies fourth time in rest stop slaying

August 28, 1997

MONTICELLO, Fla. (AP) _ Margaret Jagger has traveled from England four times to tell juries how a group of teen-agers shot her and killed her boyfriend in a bungled robbery at a highway rest stop.

It hasn’t gotten any easier.

Jagger fought back tears several times Thursday as she testified how she and Gary Colley woke up to faces staring in at them from both sides of their rental car. They were two attackers carrying guns.

``I saw the one on my side mouthing something,″ she said. ``I couldn’t hear it. He obviously was not a happy man. ... I was scared.″

Jagger’s wounding and Colley’s slaying in September 1993 along Interstate 10, about 35 miles east of Tallahassee, produced international headlines. Colley was among 10 foreign visitors killed over a 13-month period several years ago, hurting Florida’s $30 billion-plus tourism industry.

Aundra Akins, now 18, is on trial, charged with attempting to kill Ms. Jagger, 39. He is already serving a 27-year sentence for the death of Colley after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Both sides rested their cases Thursday. Lawyers will make their final arguments Friday before turning the case over to the three-man, three-woman jury.

Ms. Jagger previously testified three times against co-defendant John ``Billy Joe″ Crumitie, now 19. After two mistrials, when juries couldn’t reach a verdict, a jury in Pensacola found him guilty of first-degree murder. Crumitie is serving a life sentence with a 25-year minimum.

A third defendant, Deron Spear, now 21, drove the getaway car. He was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accessory after the fact.

Ms. Jagger recalled how she and Colley stopped to take a break about 2 a.m. when they were assaulted by the youths. Colley panicked and backed up their rental car, but the vehicle stolen by the teen-agers earlier in the evening blocked their escape.

She held up for the jury the T-shirt she was wearing that night, showing where a bullet ripped into her arm and through her chest. Several times Ms. Jagger stopped her testimony to regain composure as she spoke of how she came face to face with Akins in a police lineup.

``It upset me. I was trembling,″ she said.

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