Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

First of Dontae Morris' murder trials to be held in Tampa with jurors from Orlando

TAMPA — Too many in the Tampa Bay area recognize Dontae Morris, accused of murdering five men, including two police officers, in 2010.

So for one of his murder trials in March, the jury will be chosen from a pool in Orlando and transported to Tampa, Circuit Judge William Fuente ruled this week.

Morris will answer to charges that he killed Rodney Jones, 42, during an attempted robbery outside the Cotton Club in West Tampa.

The trial was first attempted last August, but the pool of 200 potential jurors was depleted because of exposure to pretrial publicity and gossip.

After that happened, Fuente expressed concern about assembling another giant pool in Hillsborough and scheduling witnesses only to fail again.

Two weeks have been set aside for jury selection and testimony.

Still unscheduled are the trials for the four other deaths — Derek Anderson, 21, Harold Wright, 25 and Tampa Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab, both 31.

The people of Tampa Bay first heard of Morris after the shooting deaths of the officers on June 29, 2010. His face was displayed on posters and fliers and televisions during a widely chronicled manhunt.

After the officers' deaths, he was connected to the three other murders.

If convicted of the murders of the two police officers, Morris could get the death penalty.

First of Dontae Morris' murder trials to be held in Tampa with jurors from Orlando 01/22/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.