TAMPA - For twenty-three hours a day, Dontae Morris sits in an 8x12 jail cell alone. In the hour he's allowed out, he's only able to have limited contact with jail guards.
That isolation, his attorney says, could be sending the accused cop killer over the edge.
In letters sent to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, attorney Byron Hileman calls the isolation extreme and inhumane. Hileman also filed a bond motion in court, asking for a hearing to discuss bail for Morris.
Jail officials have now agreed to restore some of those priveleges, saying Morris can have supervised video-conference visits with his mother and grandmother. Those visits can take place during the jail's normal hours, Monday through Friday only.
Morris was cut off from any outside communication in March, after he was accused of misusing phone and visitation priveleges. Police believe Morris intended to endanger witnesses, and had another accused killer, Andre Watkins, make calls to Morris' family on his behalf.
Morris' attorney also alleged jail food or medicines could be making the 25-year-old sick, and says Morris himself may believe he is being poisoned at the jail. Sheriff's officials say they have investigated those claims and say they're unfounded.
"Dontae Morris is treated like any other high-profile accused murderer in the Hillsborough County jail," said jail commander, Col. Jim Previtera.
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