Dontae Morris murder trial wrapped for the day in Tampa - WFLA News Channel 8

Dontae Morris murder trial wrapped for the day in Tampa

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The Dante Morris trial has wrapped up for the day. The state is expected to rest their case. The defense says they have no witnesses to call and Morris will not testify. The jury will most likely get the case early in the day. Attorneys for both sides met with the judge this afternoon and have already agreed on instructions for the jury.

Dontae Morris is on trial for the murder of Rodney Jones in May of 2010 outside of the Cotton Club. Tuesday jurors heard one of Dontae Morris' closest friends say he confessed to her in a phone call about the killing. 

For Dontae Morris, Ashley Price was a friend, a confidant, and at one time she had a relationship with Morris. Tuesday morning, Price walked into a Tampa courtroom and testified against Morris.

Price took the stand wearing an orange jailhouse uniform and handcuffs. Prosecutors had her explain to the jury that she is being held in jail on an offense that is not related to the Morris trial.

Price is 24 years old, and very soft spoken. Attorney's had to ask her to speak up but her words were some of the most incriminating so far in the trial against Morris.

During questioning she explained to the jury that Dontae Morris used to call her frequently, at least every other day and he would confide in her.

Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon asked Price, " Did he make statements to you about killing Mr. Jones?" Price responded softly, "Yes." Harmon then asked, " Did he tell you where he shot him?" Price responded softly, but almost matter of factly, " In the head."

During the trial police officers, detectives and crime scene technicians have testified about the facts of the case. There have also been witnesses who were at the Cotton Club on the night of the shooting, but so far Price is the person who most conclusively testified that Morris killed Rodney Jones.

Defense attorney's tried to establish that prosecutors offered Price a deal for testifying against Morris. Price Denied it.

The jury is from Orlando, selected there after the first attempt to pick a jury in Tampa failed. By 11:00 A.M. Judge William Fuente sent the jury back to their hotel for the day. Following testimony by Price and others, the State Attorney explained the next witness in the case is traveling from out of state and will not be available until tomorrow morning.

The case is expected to wrap up on Wednesday.

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