TAMPA - A Tampa judge says he needs more time to decide on a venue and a jury in the first murder trial of Dontae Morris, who is accused of killing two Tampa police officers and three other people.
Last month, Circuit Judge William Fuente announced the jury pool will come from Orlando because of intense publicity surrounding Morris.
But that may not be the case. Fuente said on Monday that he has feelers out to two other jurisdictions in the state, but he would not elaborate.
He did not set a date for the next hearing.
This case is unrelated to the officer murders.
Morris is accused of shooting Rodney Jones outside the Cotton Club in May 2010.
An earlier attempt to seat a panel from Hillsborough County proved unsuccessful.
Morris is accused of killing police officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab during a traffic stop in July 2010. A massive manhunt followed before Morris surrendered.
Jury selection in the Jones murder case is expected to take place on March 4. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.
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A dive team from Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was called to University Square Mall on Tuesday afternoon after a suspected shoplifter jumped into a pond and disappeared. Deputies say a suspect was later arrested.