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Dan Sullivan, Times Staff Writer

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan covers breaking news and general assignment stories for the Tampa Bay Times. His reporting often focuses on law enforcement and criminal justice issues. Since joining the Times in 2010, he has covered everything from fugitive monkeys and stolen swine to burning buildings and Florida's death row. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, he is a 2006 graduate of the University of Tampa, where he earned a degree in writing with a focus in journalism.

Phone: (813) 226-3386

Email: dsullivan@tampabay.com

Twitter: @TimesDan

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  1. Accused of fourth murder, Dontae Morris' fate now in hands of jury

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A jury went to work Monday to decide whether or not Dontae Morris is guilty of a fourth murder.

    More than five years after Morris committed one of Tampa Bay's most notorious crimes — killing two Tampa police officers — the panel of 12 men and woman started deliberating whether he also killed Derek Anderson, who was fatally shot on May 18, 2010.

    If the jury find Morris guilty of first-degree murder, the court will then start the sentencing phase of the trial. That could net Morris, 29, his third death sentence....

    Dontae Morris enters the courtroom of Judge William Fuente. The third murder trial of convicted cop killer Dontae Morris started Friday. Morris is accused of killing Derek Anderson, who died a few weeks before the two Tampa police officers. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
  2. Dontae Morris asks judge to appoint new attorneys in third murder trial

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Dontae Morris wants to ditch his lawyers.

    The convicted killer of two Tampa police officers asked a judge Saturday to appoint new attorneys in his third murder trial, saying he was unhappy with the three who have defended him so far.

    His main complaint: They won't tell the jury more about his other crimes.

    Judge William Fuente, who is presiding over Morris' trial for the killing of Derek Anderson, denied his request in an unusual weekend session held because jurors are being sequestered for the trial....

    Dontae Morris is escorted into the courtroom for his trial in the shooting death of Derek Anderson. Morris is already serving sentences for other murders.
  3. Opening arguments begin in third murder trial of cop-killer Dontae Morris

    Crime

    TAMPA

    One night in 2010, Derek Anderson walked home with a backpack full of clean laundry. A white car slowly rolled past.

    He walked up to his mother's front door. Then someone fired a bullet through his heart. His mother found her son bleeding, gasping for breath.

    That was the story Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon told a jury during opening arguments Friday in the third murder trial of Dontae Morris....

    Dontae Morris enters Judge William Fuente’s courtroom Friday for his trial in the death of Derek Anderson on May 18, 2010. 
He is already serving time for three murders, including the deaths of two officers, and awaits trial on a fifth charge of murder.
  4. Tampa man guilty of killing drag queen sentenced to life in prison

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Deandre Tolliver said nothing Thursday morning as a judge ordered him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

    A week after he was convicted of killing Anthony Jerome Lee, the 26-year-old stood mute when a judge asked if he had anything to say.

    But those who knew Lee, who was well-known for his performances as a drag queen named Wanda, were eager to tell the court what they had been through. They spoke of pain. They spoke of punishment. But they also spoke of forgiveness....

    Friends and family members comfort Barbara Lee Thomas, center, after a guilty verdict was read in the trial of her brother’s killer July 16 at the Hillsborough County Courthouse.
  5. Jury selection in latest Dontae Morris case a slow, delicate task

    Criminal

    TAMPA — It is hard to live in Tampa Bay and not know about Dontae Morris.

    For the past half a decade, the convicted cop killer has gained a reputation as one of the region's most notorious murderers, his face and name a frequent fixture of local news. Morris is now on death row, convicted of three murders — including the 2010 deaths of two Tampa police officers.

    So this week, as Morris braces for another murder trial, attorneys and a judge are attempting a delicate task: finding 12 Hillsborough County residents who know nothing about Morris and can serve as an impartial panel in a case that could net him another death sentence....

    Cop killer Dontae Morris faces a trial in a man’s May 18, 2010, slaying.
  6. Deandre Tolliver guilty in Tampa drag queen slaying

    Criminal

    TAMPA — It took a jury about five hours Thursday to decide that Deandre Tolliver killed a well-known Tampa drag queen.

    The 12-person panel found Tolliver, 26, guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 death of Anthony Jerome Lee.

    Lee, 44, was known for his performances as Wanda. He was a regular at Hamburger Mary's in Ybor City, often appearing on the small stage decked out in a blond wig and glittery gowns....

    Deandre Tolliver, 26, is put in handcuffs after being found guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday. The jury did not convict him on additional charges of robbery and burglary, settling instead on two lesser assault convictions.
  7. Murder suspect testifies in drag queen killing

    Criminal

    TAMPA — The man accused of killing a popular Tampa drag queen cried Wednesday as he testified in his own defense.

    Deandre Tolliver, who turned 26 Tuesday, sat unshackled in court for the first time in two years, his dreadlocks brushing the top of his dark suit jacket as he told a jury he did not kill Anthony Jerome Lee.

    "I understand very well what is going on," he said in response to a prosecutor's questions. "I know very well that someone's life has been taken. But I —"...

    Deandre Tolliver is accused of killing Anthony Jerome Lee, a popular drag queen.
  8. Witness describes shooting in murder of Tampa drag queen

    Criminal

    TAMPA — From behind a bathroom door, Tiffany McKinney listened to the two men yelling. She heard one demanding money. She heard her friend, Anthony Jerome Lee, telling him to leave. She dialed 911 as their voices came closer.

    The man, whose voice McKinney did not recognize, asked who else was in the house.

    "Ain't nobody here," she heard Lee say. "Just me. "

    Silence followed. Then, five gunshots....

    Anthony Lee 


  9. As shooting deaths surge in Tampa, E.J. Harris, 14, becomes a statistic

    Crime

    TAMPA — He watched his brother take a knife to the chest in a fight over a bicycle.

    He munched on Cheetos in his eighth-grade science class.

    He had his cap stolen at gunpoint.

    He played basketball in the park, close to home.

    He ran from a gunman as bullets whizzed past his head.

    He refused to miss a day of school, even after his mother died.

    This was how Edward "E.J." Harris IV spent the last months of his life....

    E.J. was killed five days before the end of his eighth-grade year at Greco Middle.
  10. Tampa police identify officer who likely struck pedestrian

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Police have released the name of the officer they say likely ran over a man who was found dead last month in a Tampa street.

    Tampa police Chief Eric Ward identified the officer as Jeremy Dabush, 26, who has been with the department since 2012. Dabush is expected to talk to department investigators about the accident soon, Ward said Friday.

    Meanwhile, Dabush has been placed on desk duty, standard procedure in a case like this. No charges have been filed in the case, which will be turned over to the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office....

  11. Tampa officer who likely hit pedestrian placed on desk duty, police say

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Tampa police officials acknowledged Thursday that one of their officers likely ran over 60-year-old William Dale McIntire, who was found dead on a Tampa street more than a week ago.

    The officer has been placed on desk duty, standard procedure in a case like this, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said. No charges have been filed in the case, which will be turned over to the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office....

  12. Tampa man says police officer was driving car that ran over his father

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A Tampa man says detectives have told him that a Tampa police officer was behind the wheel of an unmarked car last week that struck his father, who was found dead in what authorities have called a hit-and-run accident.

    But Tampa police have not acknowledged publicly that one of their officers may have been involved in a fatal pedestrian collision more than a week after it occurred....

    William Dale McIntire, 60, of Tampa died after a car hit him in June.
  13. Search warrant details Instagram posts, jail calls in Tampa shooting case

    Crime

    TAMPA — In the days after bullets knocked Jarrod Coachman off his motorbike, Tydarrious Kirkland posted pictures on Instagram.

    In one image, 19-year-old Kirkland sat with a gun in his lap. A caption read, "Mite be gone for a while!"

    Another image, posted the same day that Coachman was shot, bears an ominous warning: "If (anyone) Make Me Sweat, I Gotta Put 'Eem in Da Ground."

    The photos are among several pieces of evidence described in a search warrant affidavit that Tampa police filed last week in Hillsborough Circuit Court. The warrant offers a glimpse at the mounting evidence in the second-degree murder case against Kirkland, including witnesses that identified him as the shooter....

  14. Federal officials offer $5,000 for tips in Tampa woman's killing

    Crime

    TAMPA — Federal law enforcement officials are putting up $5,000 as an incentive for anyone with information about the killing of a Tampa grandmother.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced the reward in a news conference Wednesday morning in front of the North Boulevard Homes apartment where Sharon Watkins was killed.

    Watkins, 58, was shot while sleeping in her bedroom June 27. Tampa police have said they believe she may have been caught in the crossfire of a neighborhood shooting....

  15. Tampa police continue to investigate two separate homicides

    Crime

    TAMPA — Detectives continued Monday to investigate two separate shootings that left a 40-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman dead this weekend amid an alarming surge in violent crime in Tampa.

    No arrests had been made in the deaths of Kirk Tyrone Chang and Sharon Darns Watkins. Police released spare details about the circumstances of either case, but suggested that neighborhood gang activity might be to blame in one....