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Man on death row for killing two Tampa Police officers wants new trial

Posted at 5:00 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 02:56:57-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- A man sentenced to death for killing two Tampa Police Department officers nearly a decade ago is now telling the judge he deserves a new trial.

Dontae Morris is convicted of killing two TPD officers after being pulled over for a traffic stop in 2010.

A jury in his 2013 trial saw dashcam video of the shootings that killed officers David Curtis and Jefferey Kocab.

RELATED: Fla. Supreme Court denies infamous Tampa killer Dontae Morris' appeal

They sentenced Morris to death for the killings.

Now, lawyers for Morris are trying to persuade a judge that his first trial was not fair.

The defense is trying to prove that the key witness against Morris, Ashley Price, lied.

During Monday's hearing, the defense questioned Price about cooperating with the state to get out of facing jail time on a separate conviction.

The defense also questioned a friend of Morris’, Marcus Oglesby, who claims to have spent time with Morris the same night of the shooting, possibly giving him an alibi. Oglesby was never called to the stand in the first trial.

The state will call witnesses later this week, then the judge will determine if there should be a retrial.

Tampa mayor Jane Castor was the assistant chief with TPD at the time of the killings.

"He can avail himself to whatever appeals process he would like, or file for a new trial, but the outcome will be the same," said Castor.

Morris is currently serving life sentences for two other murders he is convicted of.