Lawyer seeks change of venue for Murabella double murder trial

The attorney of the man accused of killing his estranged wife and her friend in a Murabella home in 2015 has asked for a change of venue in the case because of the publicity it has received.


The motion, filed Wednesday by James Terry Colley Jr.’s attorney, Garry Wood, says “that a fair and impartial trial cannot be obtained” in St. Johns County.

“The case has received an enormous amount of pre-trial publicity from the date of the incident until recently,” the motion reads. “It is expected this pre-trial publicity will continue up until, and throughout, any trial that would take place in this matter if it were to be tried in St. Johns County.”

Wood says in the motion that he is prepared, at a hearing, to present “numerous” copies of pre-trial coverage of the case from local print and television outlets.

“Many of these articles contain information which would be inadmissible at trial, or concerning pre-trial hearings, or information relayed from a jailhouse informant,” he writes.

Colley, 37, was indicted in September 2015 on two counts of first-degree murder in the August 2015 shooting deaths of 36-year-old Amanda Cloaninger Colley, and her friend, 39-year-old Lindy Mosler Dobbins. He is also facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, burglary with assault or battery, armed burglary and aggravated stalking after injunction.

The 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office is seeking the death penalty in the case.

Wood’s motion came the day after Circuit Judge Howard Maltz entered an order scheduling a half-day of hearings for a number of other pending motions in the case.

Those motions include efforts by Wood to have portions of Florida’s death penalty statute declared unconstitutional as well as motions regarding “victim impact evidence” that may be presented in the case.

Maltz scheduled hearings on those motions for the morning of Oct. 10