Documents: deputy overheard Morris repent

Documents: deputy overheard Morris repent

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A detention deputy heard the man accused of killing two Tampa police officers refer to himself as a child molester and say he repented for killing five people, according to court documents obtained by News Channel 8.

The statements were included in a 64-page observation log by a deputy watching Dontae Morris on suicide watch in the Hillsborough County jail in 2011.

The statements by Morris, documented by Deputy Ruben Clemente, allegedly include, "…someone put something on me to kill those people. Someone stole my soul…" and "I shot the white guy because my girlfriend Teressa put something on me…", according to a motion filed with the court by Morris' attorneys.

Morris' defense team wants to have those statements excluded from any of his trials, including the murder trial involving the officer deaths scheduled for November. They filed a motion regarding the statements in March, and attorney Byron Hileman said they plan to renew that motion for the fall trial.

The statements were largely left out of Morris' first murder trial this spring, involving the death of Rodney Jones.

In that trial, Deputy Clemente testified that Morris said "I repent for killing," but according to the court document filed by Morris defense team, Clemente claims Morris said he "repents for killing five people."

Morris' defense said the statements described by detention deputies should be excluded because they are "inherently unreliable."

"Mr. Morris was under suicide watch at the time of the alleged statements," they argued. "He was delusional and in an extremely agitated state."

The motion also cites opinion from a psychologist, Dr. Valerie McClain, who reviewed the deputy's observation notes and met with Morris. McClain said Morris "was in a transient psychotic state and his statements therefore lack reliability."

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