TAMPA, Fla. — The man accused of running down a father and his children on a New Tampa road earlier this year will not face the death penalty.
- No death penalty for Mikese Morse
- Morse pleaded not guilty to killing father of two
- Family of Morse says he suffers from mental illness
Mikese Morse, 30, appeared before a judge for a competency hearing to determine if he is fit to stand trial. His competency was not established as the court-appointed doctor still has not seen Morse.
However, State Attorney Andrew Warren announced he won't seek the death penalty in the case.
Morse, 30, was arrested in June after police say he struck and killed Pedro Aguerreberry, 42, on New Tampa Road. Aguerreberry's two sons also were injured but have recovered.
Morse's family has said he suffers from mental illness and was in a state of psychosis at the time of the tragedy.
Morse’s family has said he was in a state of psychosis at the time of the crash. He had been Baker Acted four times and was released from treatment just days before the tragedy.
In court on Monday, Morse's lawyers were prepared to ask for a continuance.
But Morse spoke directly to the judge, rambling to the point where deputies escorted him out of the room. Judge Mark Kiser immediately ordered him to stop talking.
"I'm telling you I committed a murder at the Hard Rock Casino and they’re covering it up right now," Morse said. "I’m sorry your honor l need to say this because —
That's when Kiser instructed Morse to stop talking: "You’re not going to be able to stay in the courtroom if we’re going to talk over each other."
"I needed to get this off of my chest, your honor," Morse said.
Morse was then taken out of the courtroom. He eventually was brought back in and spoke briefly to the judge.
The State Attorney's Office said it will touch base with the sheriff's office about Morse's claim about a murder at the casino.
Meanwhile, Morse's competency hearing has been delayed until September.