Sunday, September 15, 2013

Florida: Attempted Murder of Briton in 1993, Vacated as a Result of US Supreme Court Ruling

According to The Telegraph, Florida Circuit Judge Karen Gievers gave a new 40-year sentence to Aundra Akins for the attempted murder of Briton Margaret Jagger, who was wounded in a September 1993 robbery attempt that left her fiance Gary Colley dead.

Akins could be released in 12 years based on time already served and good behavior.

Akins was just 14 years old in 1993 when he and three other juveniles took part in the early morning shooting and robbery at a highway rest stop. 

The crime, which followed the deaths of other tourists in a single year, jolted Florida, which relies heavily on tourism and prompted the state to hire armed guards to provide security at highway rest stops.  

COMMENT: Akins received a 27-year sentence for second-degree murder in a plea deal, but life for attempted murder after a trial. Yet, an appellate court, citing a US Supreme Court decision that juveniles cannot be sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide crimes, last November overturned the life sentence. 

It should be noted that Akins was charged in the attempted murder of Ms. Jagger, not with the resulting death of her finance. Hence, the US Supreme Court's vacating the life sentence without parole for a non-homicidal offense.
Ms. Jagger returned to Florida for the re-sentencing. 

Tallahassee television station WCTV showed video of her testifying during the hearing saying that "my sentence will never come to an end." The television station also showed Akins telling her that he was not the "kid" that he was before and that he hoped she could forgive him some day. 

Jagger told THE TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT that she hopes Akins can stay out of trouble and have another life when he eventually gets out of prison. She also called it "pretty difficult" and a "big coincidence" that she had returned to north Florida one day before the 20th anniversary of the murder. 

WCTV said that Ms. Jagger planned to visit the rest stop and place flowers where Colley was killed.