Jury selection no easy task in Morris trial - FOX 13 News

Jury selection no easy task in Morris trial

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

There was drama in the courtroom Tuesday in the first of four murder trials against Dontae Morris.

This is the case of Rodney Jones, who was shot and killed outside the Cotton Club in Tampa.

Today was day two of jury selection. Midway through the day, it came to the court's attention that some potential jurors were talking about the case, and what they knew about Dontae Morris.

One by one, the jurors were asked what they heard or may have said themselves.

One man told the judge, he overheard another man say, "oh this is what we're here for." He said the man then added, "this is the kid who killed the police officers."

And it went on like that, with several other potential jurors.

One man said, "It was first thing yesterday, outside the courtroom as we were waiting to get in."

The judge asked, "This was after I told everyone not to talk about the case, people still talked about it?"

The man replied, "I guess you could say that."

As he excused one man, the judge was overheard saying, "I think next time I'm going to sequester 200 jurors." That's how many this case started with. But after hearing from many who know about Morris or have already formed an opinion and a host of other excuses, they are now down to 67 potential jurors.

The defense has asked for the judge to throw out the pool and start over.

The judge has asked the 67 people to come back Wednesday morning. He will rule after speaking to them again.

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