TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) – After listening to three hours of closing arguments, jurors have begun deliberating the fate of Dontae Morris, the man charged with killing two Tampa police officer.
The defense rested its case without calling any witnesses. Morris told Hillsborough Circuit Judge William Fuente he did not want to take the stand in his own defense.
Defense attorney Karen Meeks asked jurors to set aside the highly emotional aspect of this case to get to the truth. Meeks said there's no proof the gunman depicted in dash-cam video of the shooting is Morris.
But prosecutors insisted there's no doubt whatsoever that the gunman is Morris. He's in the video, the said. His voice in that video matches his voice on recorded jailhouse phone conversations.
If convicted, Morris faces the death penalty, which would involve a penatly phase. Alternate jurors have not been dismissed altogether because of that phase of the case, if it comes to that.
The third day, Thursday, of testimony focused on text messages mintues after two Tampa police officers were gunned down during a traffic stop June 29th, 2010.
Dontae Morris is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He's already serving a life sentence for another murder, but prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the slayings of officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.
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