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Florida Has No Top Suspect in Tourist Killing

September 17, 1993|From Associated Press

MONTICELLO, Fla. — Authorities said there are no leading suspects in the killing of a British tourist, and the sheriff bristled Thursday at accusations that his investigation is racist.

Jefferson County Sheriff Ken Fortune refused to speculate on whether two teen-age boys being held in the Sept. 2 theft of a car in Monticello were linked to the killing.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that the two juveniles were being questioned in the tourist case, but neither Fortune nor a state police spokesman would confirm that report.

They also would not confirm published reports that ballistics tests were being run on a bullet fired in a motel robbery Sunday in Monticello to determine if it is linked to the killing. No one was injured in that robbery.

Gary Colley, 34, was shot to death in an apparent robbery attempt early Tuesday after pulling into an interstate rest stop in an unmarked rental car. His girlfriend was wounded.

The Englishman was the ninth foreign visitor slain in Florida since October, 1992.

Civil rights leaders complained that Fortune's department responded in a racist way by rounding up young blacks with criminal records for questioning and sometimes fingerprinting.

The sheriff said that was appropriate because Colley's girlfriend, Margaret Ann Jagger, 35, described the assailants as black.

"A lady who's a victim, who's lucky to be alive, told us we were looking for two black males. I think that's justification enough," Fortune said.

It is believed that a third youth was driving a stolen getaway car found abandoned in Monticello a few hours after the slaying.

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