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Suspect in Police Slayings Turns Self In

Suspect in Police Slayings Turns Self In

Associated Press

July 03, 2010

TAMPA, Fla. — A convicted felon accused of killing two Tampa police officers during a traffic stop surrendered after detectives spent more than a day negotiating with an associate of the man, police said Saturday.

Dontae Rashawn Morris, 24, turned himself in at a police station about 10:30 p.m. Friday, police said. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab early Tuesday.

“Honestly I can never remember a point in my life where I felt more relieved,” said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor.

Police said Morris also was suspected in two other slayings, and by early Saturday he faced a third murder charge in the May 18 shooting death of a man killed outside his family’s Tampa apartment. A statement from Tampa police Public Information Officer Laura McElroy said ballistic tests indicate the same gun was used in the officers’ killings this week.

Morris was scheduled to make his first court appearance Saturday. Officials did not know whether he had an attorney.

Hundreds of officers in tactical gear had combed apartment buildings, vacant homes and even waterways during an intense manhunt for Morris following the officers’ deaths. Detectives fielded more than 400 tips.

McElroy’s statement said the surrender came nearly 30 hours after detectives began negotiations with an associate of Morris. That dialogue with the associate eventually led to Morris turning himself in, and the associate will be entitled to a $100,000 reward that had been offered for information leading to his arrest, the statement said.

A short time later, police also announced that Morris’ 21-year-old brother was arrested early Saturday morning at a Tampa motel on charges of domestic violence and possession of cocaine and marijuana.

News of the surrender and charges came just hours after a wake for officers Curtis and Kocab drew hundreds of mourners to a crowded church. Photographs of Curtis with his wife and four sons were shown on large screens. Kocab was pictured with his wife, who is nine months pregnant.

Funerals for the two men, who were both 31, were scheduled for Saturday.

It was about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday when Curtis pulled over a man and woman in a red Toyota Camry. He called for backup after seeing the man was wanted in Jacksonville for writing a bad check. Six minutes after Curtis and Kocab approached the car’s passenger side, a witness called 911 to report they were shot. The officers were pronounced dead at a hospital.

The car’s driver, Cortnee Brantley, was charged Friday with a federal count of witnessing a felony and not reporting it. Officials also did not know whether she had retained an attorney.

In the May 18 shooting in which Morris is charged, 21-year-old Derek Anderson was killed outside his family’s apartment after detectives believe the shooter tried to take Anderson’s backpack.

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said Friday night that Morris also is considered a suspect in the June 8 death of a father of four who was found badly hurt on the side of a road and died while he was being taken to a hospital.

Authorities are looking into why Morris was released from prison in April and not transferred to Jacksonville, where warrants had been issued in the bad check case. Corrections officers informed Jacksonville authorities of Morris’ impending release last October, prison records showed. Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford has said his office is looking into the matter.

  • Sfa_iv_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    OK...Good move, very good move....

  • Car_004_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Freaking SCUMBAG, fry Him!! He took away two great men so children will grow up without their fathers, a city will not have two brave men, the community will not have the protection of two great officers. They had a future and would have made contributions to their community. What will this POS contribute to society if he lives?...........................ummmmmmm.....................he might, uh..........................wait, he could ........................ no, no not that either.............................I GOT IT!!! ....................ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! he does not deserve to breath the same air as the families, community and officers of the Tampa PD that he hurt with his actions PERIOD.

    God Bless The Souls of the Officers. Lord Bless and watch over the children of these fine men that sacrificed their lives for their community and their families so they could have a safe place to live and grow.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    Wonder how this POS feels after killing an officer who was on his way to see his baby be born that day. You freaking SOB your lucky, Get ready to hear those words wonderful words from the man himself, "MAY GOD HAVE MERCURY ON YOUR SOUL". Get ready there coming when your found guilty and walked down Stark Prison in Florida called X-Wing. Hope they need someone to push the button because I am signing up!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    To the gallows

  • Picture_002_max50


    about 4 years ago


    street justice should have happened-turns himseld in-PUSSY!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    Bump cops1521

  • 21_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I only hope that Florida has a lethal injection waiting for him

  • Mourning_badge_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Rest in Peace Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab. My Prayers for your Families, friends and coworkers. May you murderer suffer eternity in Hell.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    about 4 years ago



  • John_groh_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Glad he is in custody. RIP Officers.

  • Fop_member_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Bump MAYES38, I would vote for that.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    we dont have capital murder in pa either ...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    1st degree murder? I take it that capital murder isn't a charge in Florida.. Hope he rots

  • Memorialbadge_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I believe that we need FEDERAL law concerning murder of a LEO's... Even go as far as to have federal laws concerning assaults, etc. involving leo's

  • 063_max50


    about 4 years ago


    POS coward....he knew what was coming if he was captured. Turns himself in like a little scumbag coward he is.....upon conviction march his sorry a$$ directly to the death chamber. There should never be appeals!!! There should never be plea bargains!!!! Justice, that is what we want. Rest in Peace Officers Curtis and Kocab...your courage and bravery will never be forgotten.

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