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Video of Valrico library rape suspect debated during hearing

TAMPA — A judge spent much of Wednesday watching surveillance video of rape suspect Kendrick Morris walking in a Walmart.

The significance: Most of the video shows him in the store after 11:30 p.m.

But one shot shows the Bloomingdale rape suspect entering the store at 10:22 p.m., just seven minutes after prosecutors say he began to attack a teenage girl at a library a mile away.

Prosecutors say the time stamp is wrong. But public defenders want to know why detectives didn't mention that part of the video in a search warrant they used to obtain Morris' DNA.

If they did, would a judge have found probable cause to sign the warrant?

Testimony continued Wednesday in a motion to suppress crucial evidence public defenders say was improperly obtained.

Morris' DNA links him to the rapes of two women, prosecutors say. The defense wants a judge to throw it out based on a bad search warrant.

A Walmart asset protection coordinator testified that times are sometimes wrong on videos because of a glitch caused by a power surge.

A detective said he'd had that conversation with the worker about the time discrepancy and was satisfied with the answer. But the worker said he didn't disclose the discrepancy until three weeks ago.

Next week, Morris' mother, Lisa Stevens, will testify about her decision to give detectives consent to search her son's bedroom.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

Video of Valrico library rape suspect debated during hearing 04/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:31am]
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