Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge to rule on Dontae Morris' motion for new trial

TAMPA — A judge is expected to rule June 27 on whether convicted cop killer Dontae Morris deserves a new trial.

Circuit Judge William Fuente conducted a telephone hearing Friday morning in which Morris' attorneys highlighted various points in a motion they filed last week. They say Morris should be retried for the killings of Tampa police Officers David Curtis and Jeff Kocab, who were shot to death during a 2010 traffic stop.

Among their main arguments was that a prospective juror tainted the entire jury pool when she made a statement about Morris' prior murder conviction during jury selection. They also argued that the judge should not have allowed testimony from a jail deputy, who heard Morris utter "I repent for killing," and that certain statements from the officers' widows should also not have been allowed.

Morris, who was recently moved to death row at Florida State Prison, did not attend the hearing. He was sentenced to death in May for the murders of Curtis and Kocab.

He is also serving a life sentence for the murder of Rodney Jones, who was killed about a month before the officers.

Morris is also still awaiting trial in the killings of Derek Anderson and Harold Wright, who were also killed that spring.

Judge to rule on Dontae Morris' motion for new trial 06/20/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 20, 2014 9:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.