LARGO — Demetrick Morris was caught twice by police in 2011 but arrested just once.
Officers caught him the first time in possession of a flashlight, a screwdriver and a cell phone filled with photos of women taken as they got dressed and undressed. But they couldn't arrest him then.
They were able to arrest him the next day when a woman saw Morris looking through her sliding glass doors and called police. He admitted that it was his third visit, that he tried but failed to open the rear window, and then masturbated outside.
What, police asked Morris, would he have done had he gotten inside?
"You won't know what you do until it happens," Morris told detectives.
Police will never know what would have happened had Morris gotten inside. But they know what happened to him on Friday: The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and voyeurism and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
During his 2011 interrogation, Morris told police that if he had broken into the home, he would have gotten something to eat and maybe stolen a blanket. But police doubted his story.
"He would never admit to what his intentions were," said Largo police Lt. Mike Loux, "We asked him if his intent was to commit sexual battery and he denied that."
Morris faced up to 30 years in prison, but through a plea agreement he was sentenced to 15 years. Under a statute enhancing the sentence, Morris is required to serve the entire 15 years.
The judge also ordered Morris to surrender the cell phone, said Assistant State Attorney Frank Migliore, which was filled with photos of women in various states of dress.
"He'll never get it back," Migliore said.
Investigators were faced with a dilemma after they caught Morris: What to do about the women whose photos were found on his cellphone? The photos appeared to have been taken outside a window, without consent, police believed.
But police couldn't identify most of the women in the photos. The only way to do so, they believed, would be to make the photos public. But the police could not do that. So police concentrated their efforts on the burglary and voyeur charges.
"We put all our eggs in one basket in this case," Loux said.
Staff writer Danny Valentine contributed to this report.