Florida man leaves court, allegedly kills estranged wife and her best friend
05/20/2016 3:18 pm PDT
Amanda Colley seemed to live the perfect suburban life: Two young kids, a nice house on a cul-de-sac in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida, and a best friend named Lindy Dobbins. But tragedy would tear apart Amanda's family.
Amanda's friend Rachel Hendricks called 911 on August 27, 2015, describing the horror after a gunman burst into the house. Amanda and Lindy were shot to death as they cowered in a closet.
Rachel Hendricks wasn't the only one who came inches away from death. Another friend, Lamar Douberly, says he saw the gunman burst into the house: James Colley, Amanda's estranged husband.
The cops mount a full court press looking for the suspect in the woods, setting up a mobile command center, deputies in flak jackets armed with assault rifles, helicopters searching. Three nearby schools were locked down during the search.
Could a court hearing have triggered the killings? Just hours before the shooting, Colley was facing a judge for violating a domestic violence injunction Amanda filed. She claimed he burned her clothes, threatened to kill her dog, and cut her if he caught her cheating.
"Your honor, at this time Mr. Colley has authorized me to enter a plea of no contest," Colley's attorney said in court.
Colley was given a year of probation, but the judge seemed uncomfortable with that.
"But my problem is if it's non-reporting unsupervised probation, who the heck's gonna monitor this?" the judge said.
Colley's defense attorney promises he'll monitor his client.
Immediately after that hearing Colley calls Amanda, leaving this message:
"Amanda, I'm out of court. Please talk to me. Baby, I, I, please. This is the last time I am calling and begging you. Please," Colley says on the recording.
Colley's father reportedly told investigators his son was "furious" after court.
Cops say after Colley allegedly commits the murders, he goes on the run.
Cops got their break 600 miles away in Norton, Virginia when a driver calls 911 to report some guy is driving erratically.
Cops pull the driver over. It's Colley, and they learn he's a wanted man. He was extradited to Florida and charged with a long list of felonies, including two counts of first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty and is due in court for pre-trial motions next month. If he's convicted he could get the death penalty.