Dontae Morris Guilty of Killing 2 Tampa Police Officers

Nov 15, 2013

A man already serving a life sentence for murder has been convicted fatally shooting Tampa police officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab during a routine traffic stop in East Tampa.

Dontae Morris sits at the defense table during his trial Friday at the Hillsborough County Courthouse.
Credit Pool Photo

A Hillsborough County jury found Dontae Morris guilty Friday of two counts of first-degree murder. The same panel will reconvene next week to recommend either a life sentence or the death penalty.

Morris killed Curtis and Kocab in June 2010 after they stopped a car driving by Cortnee Brantley. Morris was in the passenger seat and reportedly shot both officers to avoid arrest on a warrant. Brantley was previously sentenced to a year in prison for concealing information from authorities.

Besides the police killings, Morris was convicted earlier this year of an unrelated murder and is awaiting trial in two other murder cases.

The jury of 12, eight men and four women brought in from Orlando, began deliberations shortly after 3:30 p.m. It took them just over four hours to make a decision.

Morris' only words were: "I know my decision … not testify. I won't testify."