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3 Teen-Agers Are Suspects in Florida Tourist's Slaying

September 17, 1993|From Associated Press

MONTICELLO, Fla. — Three teen-agers, two already in custody on unrelated auto theft charges, are the chief suspects in the killing of a British tourist, Florida's deputy attorney general said Thursday.

The two suspects arrested this week are ages 13 and 15, and the 13-year-old has 56 prior arrests, said Deputy State Atty. Gen. Pete Antonacci. He said authorities also were seeking a 17-year-old.

"They're convinced that they have the guys, and that they don't have a case so far," Antonacci said.

Earlier Thursday, however, Jefferson County Sheriff Ken Fortune and state police refused to speculate on whether two teen-age boys being held in the Sept. 2 theft of a car were linked to the killing.

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.

Colley was the ninth foreign visitor slain in Florida since October, 1992. The killings have jolted the state's $31 billion-a-year tourism industry.

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.

But the sheriff bristled at accusations his investigation is racist.

He said the roundup was appropriate because Colley's girlfriend, Margaret Ann Jagger, 35, described the couple's 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.

Jagger flew out of Florida on Thursday night; Colley's body also was on the jet.

The plane's destination wasn't disclosed.

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