Jury deliberates in Cortnee Brantley trial - WFLA News Channel 8

Jury deliberates in Cortnee Brantley trial

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Cortnee Brantley and her attorney, Grady Irvin, headed into court today.  Photo: Jay Conner/Tampa Tribune Cortnee Brantley and her attorney, Grady Irvin, headed into court today. Photo: Jay Conner/Tampa Tribune
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Jurors will continue deliberating Wednesday morning in the second trial of Cortnee Brantley, the woman police say was driving the night her boyfriend Dontae Morris shot and killed two Tampa Police officers.

Jurors deliberated about two hours on Tuesday afternoon before breaking for the night. In Brantley's first trial last summer, jurors deliberated for about eight hours but said they could not reach a verdict, prompting a mistrial.

Brantley is charged with a rarely-used charge called misprision of a felony. In this case, prosecutors say Brantley knew Morris was a convicted felon in possession of a gun and that she did not report that and tried to conceal it.

Brantley's defense attorney, Grady Irvin, argued in court Tuesday that Brantley did not know Morris was a felon and that she also didn't know what happened the night the officers were killed because the shooting took place out of her sight line.

In closing arguments Tuesday, Irvin said "at best" Brantley heard a gunshot and saw three people fall to the ground that night but that police wanted her to confirm what happened and who was involved.

"They wanted a witness for that murder, that's what they focused on," Irvin said.

Irvin later said Morris is to blame for the officers' deaths but that authorities should "leave her alone."

During one cross examination of a witness, Irvin revealed something that did not come out in Brantley's first trial, inferring that as this all unfolded, Brantley believed she was pregnant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston said even if Brantley did not see the shooting, "she knew what happened."

"Cortnee Nicole Brantley is not a victim," Preston said.

Preston also said that by leaving the scene the night of the murders, she took away investigators' chance to let a dog get a scent of Morris from the car to track him down.

 

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