Crime & Courts
Dontae Morris' defense, prosecution want trial in Tampa
TAMPA - Both the defense and prosecution want jurors brought to Tampa when Dontae Morris goes on trial in a 2010 fatal shooting outside a nightclub. During a hearing Monday, Fuente did not make a decision on a venue but said he would let both parties know well in advance of the scheduled March 4 trial. Fuente, who announced last month the jury pool might come from Orlando, said he is considering two other jurisdictions but did not name them. Morris is charged with murder in the case, as well as in the deaths of two Tampa police officers.Last month, Judge William Fuente said the jury in the Jones' slaying might come from Orlando after attempts to pick a panel in Tampa ended with a tainted jury pool. Despite his written order not to do so, some potential jurors talked to others about the case as well as Morris' charges in the much-publicized officers' deaths. Jones was fatally shot as he was getting into his car after leaving the Cotton Club on May 31, 2010. The slaying came a month before officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab were shot to death during a traffic stop. Prosecutors have said Morris was a passenger in the car of his girlfriend, Cortnee Brantley. Morris is also charged in the deaths of Derek Anderson and Harold Wright in the weeks leading up to the officers' deaths. Trial dates for those cases have not been set.
Tribune reporter Elaine Silvestrini contributed to this report.