ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- (WJXT) -- After days of emotional and disturbing testimony, a jury took less than two hours to convict James Colley Jr. of first-degree murder in the 2015 shooting deaths of his estranged wife and her friend.
Colley, 38, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two burglary counts and a count of aggravated stalking.
Colley killed Amanda Colley and Lindy Dobbins on Aug. 27, 2015, during a shooting rampage in the home the couple once shared in the upscale Mura Bella neighborhood of St. Johns County.
Assistant State Attorney Bryan Shorstein said the crime sent shock waves throughout the community.
"They were young professional mothers who leave behind young children," Shorstein said in a news release. "Colley shot both victims multiple times as they were begging for their lives."
"The facts of this case are as callous and violent as any I have ever witnessed in my professional career," State Attorney R.J. Larizza said, adding that the state will now move forward with seeking the death penalty against Colley.
The penalty phase will begin Monday. If Colley is not sentenced to death, he will get life in prison without parole.
The Colleys' children, a 7-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son, have been in the custody of one of Amanda Colley's family members since the murders.
Loved ones of Dobbins, Amanda Colley and shooting rampage survivor Rachel Hendricks, who testified last week, said they are pleased with the verdict but are also anxious for the penalty phase to be over.
Several loved ones have expressed their hope that Colley will be sentenced to death.