Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge denies motion to dismiss charge against Cortnee Brantley

TAMPA — A federal judge Thursday denied a motion to dismiss the charge against the girlfriend of accused cop killer Dontae Morris, setting the stage for her trial next month.

Cortnee Brantley, 22, of Seffner is accused of not telling authorities she knew that Morris, a felon, illegally possessed the gun and bullets used to kill two Tampa police officers.

Defense attorney Grady Irvin had argued that authorities are pursuing the federal charge because Brantley would not cooperate with local law enforcement officials. During seven hours of interrogation, she sometimes invoked her right to remain silent, he said.

It's unconstitutional to file a federal charge against someone who would ordinarily be prosecuted in state court just because she exercised her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself, Irvin said in an motion to dismiss.

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. denied Irvin's motion Thursday. Moody did not set a date for the two-day trial, but discussed scheduling it for November.

Morris, 25, of Tampa faces two counts of first-degree murder and could get the death penalty if convicted in the June 29 deaths of Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.

Morris was a passenger in Brantley's car, which Curtis pulled over because it did not have a license plate, officials said. He is accused of ambushing the officers and fleeing.

Brantley drove off, did not call for help and later refused to identify Morris in a video of the shootings made by a dashboard camera in one of the officers' cruisers, according to investigators. Nor would she tell a detective what she and Morris talked about in telephone calls after the shooting.

Three months ago, Irvin said Brantley "does not stand by what happened" and would cooperate with investigators.

"We've never heard from her," Tampa police spokesman Laura McElroy said Thursday. "She has never come forward and done the right thing and provided us with information about who aided Dontae Morris and assisted in his ability to elude capture for four days."

Judge denies motion to dismiss charge against Cortnee Brantley 10/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 10:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii

    Military

    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.