Jury recommends death penalty for Dontae Morris - FOX 13 News

Jury recommends death penalty for Dontae Morris

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Jurors unanimously recommended the death penalty for Dontae Morris Tuesday afternoon.

The recommendation came after a day of emotional testimony from the families of the slain police officers.

The widows of Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab took the stand in the sentencing phase, standing in front of their husband's murderer and telling him what they have waited years to say.

Morris was found guilty for the shooting deaths of Curtis and Kocab. Ultimately, after the jury's recommendation, the judge will decide his fate.

There is no word when the judge will announce his decision. FOX 13's Gloria Gomez reported that it could happen anytime between now and next March.

Kelly Curtis described raising her family without the childrens' father.

"I have a 12-year-old son that I have now had to teach how to shave, an 11-year-old who only wishes his dad could throw the football with him one more night, and a 9-year-old son who dreams of going fishing one more time with his dad," Kelly Curtis said. "Our 4-year-old son asked me when he was two: 'Mom, where's my daddy?'

"And before I could even answer his question, he responded, 'My daddy's in heaven, right? The bad guy shot my daddy,'" she continued.

Then Sara Kocab took the stand, saying her husband was the love of her life, and he always dreamed of being a Tampa police officer. She told the courtroom that a month after losing Jeffrey, she buried her stillborn baby.

"Early in the morning, I was ripped from my sleep with a knock on my door," she said. "It would be the moment my life started spinning out of control. I can't put into words the feelings that race through me when I found out Jeff was murdered. All I wanted to do was lay right next to him, and that is what I did."

She continued.

"It is hard to remember the days that followed. Lily came later than expected, and the doctors induced labor on July 21. I had a lot of support at that time, but no support could take the place or be sufficient enough than the support of my husband. Lily was delivered stillborn, so almost a month after burying my husband, I buried our baby."

Morris' mother has spoken out in her son's defense, explaining that his father was shot when Morris was only 2. She was also testifying in the same courtroom Tuesday.

Morris is already serving a life sentence for a different murder. It took jurors four hours of deliberating before reaching this guilty verdict.

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