Dontae Morris' ex: He said "he did it"

10:55 PM, Nov 13, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - She says she was "intimate" with Dontae Morris in the summer of 2010, and that they had a sexual relationship. She also claims he confessed to her that he killed two police officers during a traffic stop.

The ex-lover of Dontae Morris, Ashley Price, took the stand today in his double-murder trial as a key witness for the state. She talked about the conversations she and Morris had.

She told jurors that Morris told her, "He did it."

Morris was seen smiling and smirking when he sat down in court.  But, he soon turned very serious when his ex-lover took the stand and told jurors he confessed to her about killing the officers.

Prosecutor Scott Harmon asked, "He used the term 'cracker?' He shot the crackers?"

She quietly answered, "Yes."

"And, that let you know they were white?

"Yes."

The state continued its line of questioning. "Did he tell you that he shot the officers to get away from them?"

"Yes," Price answered.

"Did he tell you he was afraid the officer would run his name, afraid he had a warrant?"

Once again, she answered, "Yes."

Harmon asked Price, "What did he say to you? That he did it?"

"Yes," she said.

"Did you know what he's talking about?"

"Yes."

"Did he tell you to watch the news? Had you seen the news? Did you know about [the] police officers?"

"Yes," said Price.

"You knew what he was referring to?"

"Yes."

The defense team for Morris admits he was scared that night and that "his world was turned upside down" during the massive manhunt that ensued for four long days while the city held its collective breath.

"We just wanted him caught," said Chief Jane Castor prior to the trial.

Medical Examiner Leszek Chrostowski gave graphic testimony about the officers' autopsies. He said Officer David Curtis suffered a "gunshot wound to the head. Cause of death was homicide. Bullet passed through the skin and skull causing skull fractures to brain."

He added, "This is not survivable. He could not be saved."

In the case of Officer Kocab, the medical examiner said "the muzzle was between six inches and two feet from his head" when he was murdered.

The medical examiner also told jurors the "path of destruction was large. It's a really big area affected by the blast."

Detective Henry Duran was also on the stand. He is now a security head for the Bucs. He was the lead investigator in the case and says he watched the dash-cam video many times.

"I've observed every frame, broken down into milliseconds when the officers were killed. I know Dontae Morris' voice. That is Dontae Morris."

He added, "When David Curtis asked Mr. Morris to get out of the vehicle, that video again was sliced and I observed every frame."

The detective says he was 100 percent positive that the voice in the car from the traffic stop that night was Dontae Morris. "No doubt," he told the state.

The defense team for Morris requested a mistrial twice, which was also denied twice. Defense attorneys were concerned that their client was being accused of making threats toward his ex-lover, Ashley Price, during a jail phone call.

"The well has been poisoned in this case. The trial is contaminated," said Byron Hileman. "We believe it was indicated that Dontae Morris was making threats."

He says he was concerned about the jury's perception.

Judge William Fuente denied both motions. He says, "I think we spent entirely too much time with this witness [Ashley Price] over not important issues."

In the jail phone calls, Dontae Morris can be also be heard talking with his half-brother about his life. He also talked about his ex saying, "I hope she don't keep up with the foolishness."

The state is hoping to rest Friday, and the defense will introduce, according to attorneys, a "very short" witness list.

The state is seeking the death penalty.

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