Family tells judge why they believe Dontae Morris should die

Morris waits to hear decision

TAMPA - It is the last chance for convicted cop killer Dontae Morris, who waits to hear if he will live or die.

In a Tampa courtroom on Thursday, the family of two slain TPD officers stepped forward to ask for the death sentence.

The morning began with the defense calling a licensed psychologist to discuss Dontae Morris' mental health.

Dr. Valerie McClain explained that when it came to borderline intellectual functioning, "Relative to the average person, Mr. Dontae Morris would be functioning in the lower range."

It was not hard to determine where the family of slain officers Jeffery Kocab and David Curtis stood on the issue.

"I will never, ever be able to make new memories with my brother now or ever again," Stephanie Kocab, Jeff's younger sister, said as she fought back tears.

Morris was convicted of murdering Tampa police officers Kocab and Curtis during a traffic stop in the summer of 2010. The jury recommended death, but the judge must now sign off on that.

On Thursday, both the state and the defense were given a chance to argue why he should or should not die. Following a ruling last month, family members were also given time to speak.

Cindy Warren, David Curtis' mother, spoke of remorse and forgiveness and was very blunt with how she thinks Morris should approach both, "He should ask the court to put him to death immediately without any hesitation."

The wives of the fallen officers stepped forward as well.

"I am still heart broken and I will always be heart broken from losing my husband.I will never be the same." said Sara Kocab-Redman, Jeff's wife. She choked up as she spoke of her pain and her strength. "There is no room in my heart for anger or hatred towards you. And I refuse to let you have that much control over me," she said.

A calm and collected Kelly Curtis, David's wife, analyzed and summarized Morris. She also made a shocking revelation, "Dontae Morris was on the same little league football team as my brother."

She went on to say, "I have pictures at home of the two of them playing side by side on the football field. He was good. He had a chance to make something of himself. He could have gone for with football, but he chose not too."

The two-day hearing will resume tomorrow morning when the state calls another doctor to the stand to assess Morris' mental health at the time of the murders back in 2010 as well as today.

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