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Dontae Morris receives new life sentence for 2010 Tampa murder

Morris is currently on death row for killing two Tampa police officers in 2010.

TAMPA, Fla — Dontae Morris, a convicted cop-killer, has been resentenced to death for the 2010 murder of Derek Anderson, a judge decided on Friday.

Morris is currently on death row for killing two Tampa police officers in 2010-- a month after murdering Anderson. He was originally sentenced to death for Anderson's murder until a 2018 Florida Supreme Court decision vacated the sentencing. 

The state's Supreme Court referenced the U.S. Supreme Court Case's ruling in Hurst vs. Florida for their decision. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that death sentences required a unanimous jury. In Morris' case, it was decided that the jury's role was limited and unconstitutional.

Morris' first-degree murder conviction was upheld, but it was ruled that he must be resentenced.

Friday's ruling means Morris will now serve a death sentence for murdering 20-year-old Derek Anderson on May 18, 2010. 

Prosecutors said that Morris and Anderson had an argument on a basketball court after Morris learned Anderson was selling pot in the neighborhood which Morris considered his personal turf.

A month later, Morris killed Tampa police officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab during a traffic stop. 

In a statement, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said: 

"Dontae Morris remains on death row with two death sentences for murdering Officers Curtis and Kocab. Today’s decision means taxpayer dollars will not be spent to seek an additional, redundant death sentence. The outcome is clear: Dontae Morris will die in prison, as he deserves."

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