Dontae Morris trial starts in Tampa - WFLA News Channel 8

Dontae Morris trial for murder of Rodney Jones starts in Tampa

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Dontae Morris is on trial in a Tampa courtroom for the murder of Rodney Jones in May of 2010.   The murder happened outside of the Cotton club as people were leaving from a night of fun and singing.   Prosecutors say Morris was out for revenge that night and killed Jones during a robbery.

Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon says Morris was also out to settle an old score with Jones and was looking for him that night.  Harmon told jurors," You will see from the evidence in this case, this wasn't just an attempted robbery, this wasn't just an attempt to rob Rodney Jones, this was premeditated murder."  Harmon says Jones was flashing a lot of cash that night in the Cotton Club and Morris noticed.

During the first day of testimony in the case witnesses told jurors, they noticed Morris at the Cotton Club that night because he stood out in the crowd.  High School teacher Linda Johnson says she noticed Rodney Jones because he was holding a large wad of cash.

Johnson says when she went outside, she heard gunfire and saw people running.  Morris's defense attorney says even though people saw his client at the Cotton Club, none of them can say they saw Morris kill Jones that night.

Defense attorney Byron Hileman told jurors, "None of them could say that they saw and could identify who shot and killed Rodney Jones."  The state says Morris texted a girlfriend after the murder to try and establish an alibi.  Jurors are expected to see those texts during the course of the trial.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Debate over debates in FL gubernatorial race

    Debate over debates in FL gubernatorial race

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:35:32 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are both proposing general election debates in the gubernatorial race this fall. Scott’s campaign on Tuesday said the governor would participate in three. Crist countered, saying he wanted more debates and proposing a slate of seven
    Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are both proposing general election debates in the gubernatorial race this fall. Scott’s campaign on Tuesday said the governor would participate in three. Crist countered, saying he wanted more debates and proposing a slate of seven
  • Venice pilot issues apology, explanation on deadly beach crash

    Venice pilot issues apology, explanation on deadly beach crash

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:24:51 GMT
    A statement from Karl Kokomoor is read by the pastor as his wife (far left) listens.A statement from Karl Kokomoor is read by the pastor as his wife (far left) listens.
    The pilot of the plane that crashed on Caspersen beach on July 27th killing a father and his 9 yr old daughter released a statement through the pastor of his church late Tuesday. As the pastor read the statementfrom Karl Kokomoor, the pilot's wife listened as details of what happened during thedeadly plane crash were revealed in a press conference at the church.
    The pilot of the plane that crashed on Caspersen beach on July 27th killing a father and his 9 yr old daughter released a statement through the pastor of his church late Tuesday. As the pastor read the statementfrom Karl Kokomoor, the pilot's wife listened as details of what happened during thedeadly plane crash were revealed in a press conference at the church.
  • Polk school uniforms pricey for some public school parents

    Polk school uniforms pricey for some public school parents

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:20:02 GMT
    Dundee Ridge Middle School and Dundee Elementary School are converting to magnet programs in the fall, and the switch means a parent-teacher committee selected uniforms the students have to wear.Dundee Ridge Middle School and Dundee Elementary School are converting to magnet programs in the fall, and the switch means a parent-teacher committee selected uniforms the students have to wear.
    Some Polk County parents are baffled at the price-tags on mandatory uniforms for their children’s school. Dundee Ridge Middle School and Dundee Elementary School are converting to magnet programs in the fall, and the switch means a parent-teacher committee selected uniforms the students have to wear.
    Some Polk County parents are baffled at the price-tags on mandatory uniforms for their children’s school. Dundee Ridge Middle School and Dundee Elementary School are converting to magnet programs in the fall, and the switch means a parent-teacher committee selected uniforms the students have to wear.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.