TAMPA, Fla. (TBO.com) - Sara Kocab forgave Dontae Morris on Thursday for murdering her husband, then asked a judge to sentence Morris to death.
Kelly Curtis said Morris played football with her brother, and she has pictures at home of the two playing together. Morris was good at football, she said.
“He had the chance to make something of himself,” said the widow of David Curtis, one of two police officers Morris shot to death during a traffic stop on June 29, 2010. “He could have gone far with football. He chose the life that he is living right now ... His father was killed when he was a child and he delivered that same fate to my children.”
The two widows and other family members were permitted to address Circuit Judge William Fuente in a hearing held to help the judge decide whether to go along with a jury recommendation that Morris be sentenced to death for the murders of officers Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.
Defense lawyer Byron Hileman vehemently objected to the statements and interrupted some victims to object when they addressed Morris instead of the judge.
Although Fuente said the victims have the constitutional right to speak, the judge also said he is not permitted to take their statements into account in making his decision. “That's the law,” Fuente said.
On Thursday, they gave briefer statements.
“I will always be heartbroken for the loss of my husband,” Kocab said, and then told Morris, “I am not angry at you and I forgive you for killing my husband.”
Then she addressed Fuente: “I ask you to sentence him to death for the three murders that he has been convicted of by a jury of his peers.”
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