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Library Rape Trial: Kendrick Morris shoots dirty look at former classmate

7:12 PM, Sep 30, 2010   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - It was a long day of detailed testimony from detectives, crime scene experts and fingerprint analysts in the Bloomingdale Rape trial in Hillsborough County.

Kendrick Morris entered the fourth day of his trial with his mother, Lisa Stevens, sitting just a few feet away. Stevens told 10 News, "No thank you," when we asked if she wanted to talk about the crimes in which her son is accused.

Morris is accused of raping an East Bay High School senior in April 2008 as she tried to return library books.  The young woman is now bound to a hospital bed in her home and can not see, walk or talk. Detectives say he left her for dead that night, but she survived.

Morris was seen drumming his fingers on a legal pad as the prosecution questioned detectives, trying to establish that everything in this case was done by the book.

Witnesses say that Morris gave a former classmate, Anthony Tauceda, a dirty look when the teenager testified against him, saying that he saw Morris at the library moments before the attack happened.

"He caught my eye when he walked over and he stood there for a second and sat down on a bench," Tauceda said.

He explained what he told school resource officers the next day.

"I just told him he was in one of my classes, and he pulled up the class and had everybody's pictures," Tauceda testified.

Tauceda's father called the school when his son gave him the information.

Tauceda said, "When I heard something happened, I told my dad, my dad is the one who called me and asked if I saw anything at the library. I told him I saw Kenny, who's in my class."

Fingerprint expert George Adams testified that a fork from a Wendy's restaurant was found at the scene with Morris' fingerprints on it.

Adams said, "The latent print on the utensil was made by Kendrick Morris."

All along, defense attorneys have maintained that the evidence in contaminated in the case. They were quick to ask Adams, since Morris hung out at the library before, could the fork have already been there?

Adams replied, "Yes, you can not date a print, so I cannot tell you how long it's been there."  

Melanie Brooks, 10 News

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