Jury recommends death penalty for Dontae Morris - WFLA News Channel 8

Jury recommends death penalty for Dontae Morris

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - A jury has recommended the death penalty for Dontae Morris, the man convicted of killing two Tampa Police officers.

The vote was unanimous, with all 12 jurors voting in favor of the death penalty.  Judge William Fuente will make the final decision on whether to accept that recommendation.

Testimony started Tuesday morning in the penalty phase of Morris' murder trial.  Last Friday, jurors found Morris guilty of first-degree murder. Morris was convicted of killing Rodney Jones in May of 2010.  The murders of Kocab and Curtis happened just one month after Jones' death.

Related story: Guilty verdict in Dontae Morris trial

Under Florida law, when the jury convicted Morris on two counts of first-degree murder for the officers' death, the jury is then required to come back for the penalty phase.

As testimony began, the jury heard for the first time that Morris has already been convicted of killing Jones outside of the Cotton Club.

The state then called Kelly Curtis, wife of David Curtis to the stand. In a calm, clear voice, Kelly Curtis told the jury her life will never be the same without her husband.

The couple were married for ten years and have four sons together. Curtis told the jury, "he was my husband, my soul mate, my best friend."

She then told jurors that she now has the lone responsibility to raise four children and has even had to teach their 12-year-old son how to shave.

Curtis says she also struggles to keep the memory of the boys father alive, three years after his death. Curtis told the jury, "My two year old asked, where's my daddy, my daddy's in heaven right? The bad guy shot my daddy."

Sitting just a few feet away, Dontae Morris showed no emotion in the courtroom as Curtis told jurors, "Every day I wish I could erase what happened that night so I don't have to rely on pictures to remind them of Dave."

Stay connected with the news of the day. Download the WFLA news app today. It’s FREE http://8.wfla.com/1etbepy


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:47:05 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
  • 2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:01:24 GMT
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photoAbout 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photo
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
  • TPD claims training stories fell short

    TPD claims training stories fell short

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:12:02 GMT
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Manatee school cleavage controversy?

    Manatee school cleavage controversy?

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:44:21 GMT
    A Braden River High School students says she was called out for a "wardrobe malfunction" in front of her classmates.A Braden River High School students says she was called out for a "wardrobe malfunction" in front of her classmates.
    What's causing all the controversy with this photo? A Braden River High School student says she was humiliated, embarrassed, and horrified on the first day of school after she was called out for a "wardrobe malfunction" in front of her classmates.
    What's causing all the controversy with this photo? A Braden River High School student says she was humiliated, embarrassed, and horrified on the first day of school after she was called out for a "wardrobe malfunction" in front of her classmates.
  • Crash closes I-75 NB in Manatee County

    Crash closes I-75 NB in Manatee County

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:39:17 GMT
    Deadly crash in Manatee County.Deadly crash in Manatee County.
    There is a deadly accident on Northbound I-75 in Manatee County right now.The crash involves a tanker truck and multiple other vehicles. All Northbound lanes on I-75 near Ellenton are closed right now,
    There is a deadly accident on Northbound I-75 in Manatee County right now.The crash involves a tanker truck and multiple other vehicles. All Northbound lanes on I-75 near Ellenton are closed right now,
  • Hernando Sheriff's office has new K-9 deputy

    Hernando Sheriff's office has new K-9 deputy

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:02:07 GMT
    Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuisannounced Friday that the Hernando County Sheriff's Office has a brand new deputy."K-9 Justice" is a 14-month old German Shepherd and will be joining the K-9 unit. Corporal Stephen Miller, K-9 Unit Supervisor, will be his handler.
    Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuisannounced Friday that the Hernando County Sheriff's Office has a brand new deputy."K-9 Justice" is a 14-month old German Shepherd and will be joining the K-9 unit. Corporal Stephen Miller, K-9 Unit Supervisor, will be his handler.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Haircuts for the Homeless

    Haircuts for the Homeless

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:38:55 GMT
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
  • 59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:30:28 GMT
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
  • 2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:01:24 GMT
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photoAbout 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photo
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
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.