TAMPA - Jury selection has begun in the first trial of Dontae Morris. Morris is accused in the murder of 42-year-old Rodney Jones in May of 2010, but it is the killing of two Tampa police officers that most know his name.
In June 2010, Officer Jeffery Kocab and Officer David Curtis were shot and killed while on a traffic stop. Police arrested Morris after a massive manhunt for the murderer.
And it is because of that notoriety there is concern that it may be impossible to seat an impartial jury in Tampa.
At the start of the day Monday, 200 potential jurors were led into the courtroom and given brief instructions from Judge Mark Wolf: Don't talk to anybody, don't text anybody, don't phone anybody.
They were then led out of the courtroom and the presiding judge, Judge William Fuente, entered the courtroom.
The issue of Morris' notoriety would come up again, and the defense asked for a change of venue. The prosecution said it wasn't necessary.
Judge Fuente told both sides,that he denied the motion for change a venue once, and he would hold to that, and he would only consider a change of venue if they could not seat a jury.
And with that, the jury selection process began.
Jury selection is expected to take a couple of days.
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