TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a man sentenced to death for killing two Tampa police officers during a traffic stop in 2010.
In a 38-page opinion Thursday, justices unanimously rejected arguments raised by Dontae Morris, who was convicted in the murders of officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab. The appeal included claims that Morris had received "ineffective assistance of counsel" during his trial and during the sentencing proceeding.
In part, the Supreme Court wrote that Morris "claims that the cumulative result of the deficiency of his trial counsel and resulting prejudice warrants relief. Because we conclude that counsel’s performance during the guilt phase was not deficient, we … reject this claim."
Morris, now 35, is an inmate at Union Correctional Institution, according to the state Department of Corrections website. He was convicted of fatally shooting the officers in the head after Curtis pulled over a car in which Morris was a passenger.
Kocab had arrived on the scene as a backup.