The widows of two Tampa police officers killed in the line of duty in June 2010 are suing the man who could one day be put to death for the murders.
Dontae Morris is charged with killing Officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis during a traffic stop. Their wives have filed wrongful death civil lawsuits, seeking monetary damages.
"What we can do is provide some justice in terms of making sure that Dontae Morris never profits from this multiple murder of Officer Curtis and Officer Kocab," said attorney Mark Wright, representing both Sara Kocab and Kelly Curtis.
But the story goes back to another widow of another fallen Tampa police officer. Corporal Mike Roberts was shot and killed investigating a suspicious person in 2009. His wife Cindy Roberts found out that her husband's killer Humberto Delgado is making money on death row.
Delgado reportedly has a growing $4,000 in his jail coffers, some donated by total strangers.
"A lot of people that are in jail for life or in jail for murders or murders of police officers, there are people out there, and I don't know who they are, that will donate to these prisoners and put money into their canteen," explained Wright.
We spoke to Officer Curtis' widow Kelly. She says Cindy Roberts warned her about the canteen and the approaching two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.
Mrs. Curtis says it's not about the money, but rather about what's right. She told us the man who took away the father of her four boys doesn't deserve the privileges the canteen money can buy behind bars, like coffee, a radio, or reading material.
According to the Hillsborough County Jail, Morris currently has only $2.33 in his canteen and a total of about $2,100 in deposits since July 2010. Mostly relatives have deposited into the account.
"What we would try to do is we would try to garnish that account," said Wright.
"I don't want his money and neither does Sara. We're not going to make any money off of him," explained Curtis. "It's going to be directly donated to the Gold Shield Foundation. I just don't think that he deserves to have it or that privilege."
Wright says both Curtis and Sara Kocab will donate any money they get from Morris to the Gold Shield Foundation to help other families of police officers killed in the line of duty. The foundation has promised to pay for college for Officer Curtis' sons. They'll also cover costs if the officers' widows want to go back to school.
"The Gold Shield Foundation has given us this security blanket to know that, in the future, the kids' college education will be taken care of and that's not something I have to worry about," said Curtis.
Dontae Morris still has to be served the wrongful death lawsuits in jail. No trial date has been set for the deaths of officers Kocab and Curtis.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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