Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dontae Morris pleads not guilty to fifth murder charge

Dontae Morris was shackled and flanked by two bailiffs in his appearance in court Friday.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

Dontae Morris was shackled and flanked by two bailiffs in his appearance in court Friday.

TAMPA — Dontae Morris, indicted last week by a grand jury, pleaded not guilty Friday to the murder of Rodney Jones.

Jones' is the fifth murder Morris has been accused of committing. The 42-year-old father of two was shot dead outside the Cotton Club on Albany Avenue on May 31.

Prosecutors said Friday the state has not determined whether it will seek the death penalty. Prosecutors already are pursuing the death penalty against Morris for the June 29 shooting deaths of Tampa police Officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis.

Bailiffs stood on each side of the shackled Morris at Friday's hearing. The families of the police officers and shooting victims Harold Wright and Derek Anderson also were there.

After Morris pleaded not guilty, defense attorney Byron Hileman asked the judge how he should handle his copy of the video recording taken from one of the officer's dashboard cameras, which captured the police shootings.

Hileman was unsure if he should unseal his copy because he's concerned that unauthorized people would then view it. Circuit Judge Daniel Sleet told him he would have to open the package and watch it "in order to make a cogent argument."

The defense also filed a motion to suppress some of the evidence from the public record. Sleet will hear arguments on the subject Feb. 11 before deciding what evidence will be sealed.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Dontae Morris pleads not guilty to fifth murder charge 01/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 28, 2011 10:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg council sets millage rate in first budget hearing

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council set the millage rate and gave initial approval to Mayor Rick Kriseman's $538 million budget at Thursday night's hearing.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman talks about the state of the city on Tuesday, two days after Hiurricane Irma passed through the state. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  2. How many more people would lack coverage under Cassidy-Graham? We can guess

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — It's safe to say the new Obamacare rollback measure toward which the Senate is charging would mean fewer Americans have health coverage. Exactly how many is unclear. Some argue it could be more than 22 million people. Others say it could be fewer.

  3. Woman's decomposed body found near St. Petersburg railroad tracks

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A woman's body was found near the railway tracks behind an empty building at 3100 38th Ave. N, according to St. Petersburg police.

  4. Warehouse burns on Tampa's east side

    News

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County emergency crews are at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a warehouse near 56th Street and East Hillsborough Avenue.

    Hillsborough County firefighters battle a blaze Thursday night at a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  5. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).