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Tampa police still wait for Cortnee Brantley's cooperation

TAMPA — The woman who witnessed the shooting deaths of two officers and then drove away has yet to cooperate with detectives, Tampa police Chief Jane Castor said Monday.

Three weeks have passed since Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab were gunned down during a traffic stop. It's been two weeks since Cortnee Brantley's attorney announced in court that his client, whom Castor has said was "less than cooperative" during seven hours of initial questioning, would share what she knew.

But attorney Grady Irvin canceled a scheduled meeting with detectives and still hasn't brought his client in to talk, Castor said during an interview with the St. Petersburg Times.

Irvin could not be reached for comment.

He previously said that Brantley was waiting for a promised immunity statement from prosecutors, presumably at the state level. She currently faces a misprision of a felony charge in federal court and remains under house arrest.

Mischell Brantley, Cortnee's mother, said earlier this month that her daughter was serious about cooperating.

On Monday, she said she didn't know what was going on with her daughter's defense because of attorney-client privilege.

"All I can say is she's changed in a lot of ways" since she's been home, said Mischell Brantley, who also uses the name Mischell Washington. "She's soaking it all in."

Castor said six investigators are working full time to determine where Dontae Morris, who is accused of being the triggerman, spent four days on the run from police, as well as who helped Morris elude capture.

They are following multiple leads. In search warrants filed late Friday, Tampa police indicated they were seeking the cell phone records for both Morris and Cortnee Brantley.

They said Brantley told police she communicated with Morris after the police shootings, but she would not say what the two spoke about.

In the warrant, police said they wanted to see the location and physical address of both phones from the early morning of June 28 through the day after the two were arrested, July 3. They want the cell site quadrants of their phone use, any and all incoming and outgoing text message data and subscriber information.

A dashboard camera in Curtis' patrol car captured the shooting. In an early search warrant, police wrote that Brantley appeared to have run over Curtis' legs as she sped away from the scene in her car.

On Monday, Castor discounted that version of events.

"That's not true," she said.

Staff writers Alexandra Zayas, Robbyn Mitchell and Jessica Vander Velde contributed to this report. Reach Colleen Jenkins at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

Reward offered for killer's gun

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to recovery of the gun that police say Dontae Morris used to shoot two police officers and 21-year-old Derek Anderson. To be eligible for the reward, the tip must be made directly to Crime Stoppers. Call 1-800-873-8477 toll-free or submit a tip online at crimestopperstb.com.

Tampa police still wait for Cortnee Brantley's cooperation 07/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 7:55am]
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