Mother of convicted cop killer Dontae Morris testifies at senten - WFLA News Channel 8

Mother of convicted cop killer Dontae Morris testifies at sentencing hearing

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Selecia Watson, the mother of Dontae Morris says she still believes her son is innocent. Selecia Watson, the mother of Dontae Morris says she still believes her son is innocent.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -
The mother of Dontae Morris says she still believes her son is innocent.

A jury found Morris guilty of killing Tampa Police Officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis in an early morning shooting during a traffic stop in June of 2010.

Selecia Watson spoke in court Friday morning as part of a sentencing hearing for Morris. After finding Morris guilty, the jury recommended the death penalty. Under Florida law the decision on the penalty is ultimately up to the judge.

Watson spoke in court and read from scripture.

"A mother loves her children all the time. No matter what the problem, no matter what the crime,"  said Watson as she read from a prepared statement.

She says she did it to "uplift her son". Later, Watson told reporters she sees her son every week in jail and he's told her, he did not kill Curtis and Kocab.

"Dontae tells me, he told me one time, Mom, I could not have done anything like this," said Watson.

She also doesn't believe a video recorded by a camera mounted in a police car during the traffic stop shows her son. The video was shown to the jury several times during the murder trial, but has never been shown to the public. Watson says a friend of hers who is a retired police officer has seen the video.

"She knows him and she said it was not nearly possible that could have been her nephew because there was no facial, viewable that was seen in that video and his body makeup was not like Dontae's."

Tampa Police Jane Castor also spoke at the sentencing hearing Friday morning. Castor says she understands how a mother cannot believe that a son would commit such a horrific crime. But, Castor says there is no question Morris is guilty.

Castor read a victim impact statement in court on behalf of the Tampa Police Department as part of the sentencing hearing.

"It's difficult to relive those moments," said Castor.

She says she was relieved when Morris was arrested and relieved he was arrested before officers Curtis and Kocab were buried.

"I can't say specifically why, but it mattered. It mattered that he was off of the streets. It mattered to the Tampa Police Department and it mattered to the community as well," said Castor.

Hillsborough County Judge William Fuente says he will pronounce sentence for Morris in the case in May.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.
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