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Friday, Aug 01, 2014

Deputies: Tampa man held in church rape conspired to kill victim

The Tampa Tribune
Published:

An inmate charged with sexually battering a woman in her 70s faces another charge — that he tried to hire a hit man to kill the woman and her daughter.

Detectives say Demetreius Martees Morris promised to pay the hit man with his Social Security check.

Morris sent handwritten notes to a witness between April 12 and April 21 in which he said he wanted to have the woman and her daughter killed, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. He wanted the mission accomplished before his scheduled May 8 court date, according to the sheriff’s office.

When investigators heard of the plan, they charged him Thursday with solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

Morris, 27, of Tampa, has been at Falkenburg Road Jail since October, when he was charged with sexual battery, kidnapping, lewd and lascivious battery on an elderly person and lewd and lascivious molestation of an elderly person.

Investigators said the rape happened after the woman entered the Living Word Fellowship, 8215 N. 13th St., to retrieve a key for a rental home near the Sulphur Springs church. Morris approached her as she was walking to the rental home and asked if he could enter the sanctuary. The woman walked back to the church, unlocked the door and let him in, and Morris then sexually battered her, according to the sheriff’s office. DNA evidence tied Morris to the attack, investigators say.

In 2003, Morris, who at the time was a 17-year-old student at Middleton High, was arrested for a lewd and lascivious act on a child, according to jail records. He spent time in a juvenile offender program for that charge.


jpatino@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7659

Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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