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Surveillance shows Kendrick Morris near crime scene

11:28 PM, Oct 1, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Surveillance shows Kendrick Morris near crime scene

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Tampa, Florida - The young victim suffered a broken nose, a fractured skull, dead brain cells, blindness, loss of muscle control and loss of ability to speak.

She can no longer eat, walk or stand.

This is the damage that the victim in the Bloomingdale Library rape trial endured after she was attacked, according to Neurosurgeon Dr. Siveiro Agazzi.

On day five of the Bloomingdale trial, Dr. Agazzi gave specific details as to the victim's condition. "She is in a persistent vegetative state," he said.

When asked if the injuries will last a lifetime, he replied, "Yes, they are permanent."

The young woman, who was a high school senior at the time of the attack, had already been accepted to the University of Florida.  She can hear people, but has a hard time responding.

She grunts to communicate, but is unable to formulate words.

The victim doesn't even remember what happened.  She has no recollection of that night.

Prosecutors continued their case Friday as they introduced video showing Morris at a nearby McDonald's less than an hour after detectives say he raped the East Bay High School student when she tried to return books at the library on April 24, 2008.

The McDonald's was less than a mile from the library.

In the video, Morris is seen inside the fast food restaurant surrounded by large yellow balloons with happy faces on them.  Detectives say he walked in at 11:09 p.m. in a hoodie and jeans and ordered two big Value meals before sitting down to eat.

He left at 11:28 p.m.

Shortly after, Morris is then seen in a Wal-Mart where he walks in and proceeds to walk up and down the aisles.

Detective Gary Harris, a 20-year-veteran of the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office, testified that the young man on video was, in fact, Morris. "He enters the store, the clothing matches and you can see it's Kendrick Morris," the detective testified.

The defense claims, however, that the time stamp on the Wal-Mart video says 10:22 p.m. - right around the time that the young woman was attacked at the library.

The actual attack, deputies say, took place at 10:15 p.m. that night.

Morris' attorneys claim that there's no way their client could be at the library and Wal-Mart at the same time. However, prosecutors called a Wal-Mart loss prevention specialist to testify.  The man claimed that during power surges, the clock on the video resets, advancing more than an hour, which changes the time stamp on the video.  It is similar, he explained, to an alarm clock that goes off during a storm.

Roberto Soto said, "Whenever I'm asked to look at video, I look at my watch and systems to match what I'm looking for."

Defense attorneys also cross-examined both Detective Harris and his colleague, Detective Geoffrey Harris.  The attorneys hammered away at the men trying to prove that they were not thorough enough in their investigation and were off in documenting time notations in their reports.

Defense Attorney Rocky Broncato continually asked Detective Geoffrey Harris about the approximations of times that were listed on the application for a search warrant where Morris entered the McDonald's and Wal-Mart.

Broncato said that the times were off by a few minutes, saying, "Why did you say that? You realize you were under oath?"

The defense has maintained all along that the evidence in the case was contaminated and that the Sheriff's Office detectives were inaccurate.

Prosecutors continued to try and bolster their case by calling the manager of United Cabs to testify.  The woman took the stand and said that Morris ordered a cab to pick him up a the Wal-Mart after the crime took place.

Jean Torres said, "Well, yeah, they give their name."

Prosecutors asked, "Okay, and in this case, it was Kendrick?"

Torres answered, "That's what it says on the order, yes."

Melanie Brooks, 10 News

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