Jury selection for Dontae Morris trial starts in Orlando - WFLA News Channel 8

Jury selection for Dontae Morris trial starts in Orlando

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ORLANDO, FL -

Efforts to pick a jury in the trial of Dontae Morris started in Orlando on Monday, with the judge telling prospective jurors they would have to live in Hillsborough County for the duration of the trial when it starts next week.

The trial is scheduled to start Monday and last about four days, Judge William Fuente said.

Jurors chosen will hear the case in which Morris is accused of killing 42-year-old Rodney Jones outside the Cotton Club in 2010. But Morris is more widely known in Tampa as the man charged in the deaths of Tampa police officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis, making it more difficult to find jurors in Hillsborough County who have not seen media coverage involving Morris.

Most of the potential jurors questioned at the Orange County Courthouse on Monday said they did not recognize Morris by sight or by name. Jurors were also asked about their ability to be away from their homes for the duration of the trial and be housed at a Hillsborough County hotel.

Judge Fuente told potential jurors he expects to seat a jury by Wednesday at the latest. Those chosen as jurors will have to report on Sunday afternoon and be transported to Hillsborough County, he said.

Jury selection for this case began in Hillsborough County last summer, but the pool of jurors was dismissed after some potential jurors discussed the case against the judge's orders and the selection process was later moved to Orange County.

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