A Seffner woman was released from federal custody today but is all but certain to face state charges for actions she’s alleged to have committed leading up to her custody in the federal prison system.
Cortnee Nicole Brantley was freed from a federal halfway house today. She was released after serving ten months of a twelve-month sentence for misprison of a felony, as she did not inform the police officers whom her ex-boyfriend is currently on Florida’s death row for killing that she was a felon carrying a firearm.
Brantley, now 28, was convicted of the rarely-enforced crime in 2013, but she was free while her case went through the appellate process. She lost her final appeal in late 2015 and began her federal sentence.
According to authorities, Brantley and Leandra E. Echevarria, then 25, became embroiled in a domestic dispute in the pre-dawn hours of January 2, 2015, shortly before she was to surrender to federal authorities to serve her sentence. They say that she attempted to grab the steering wheel while Echevarria was driving, and he pulled into a parking lot where they subsequently began fighting. She is ultimately alleged to have caused $3,000 of damage to Echevarria’s Chrysler Crossfire by hurling concrete blocks at it. She was subsequently charged with domestic violence battery and criminal mischief resulting in damage of $1,000 or more, which is a third-degree felony.
Brantley’s federal conviction occurred after she drove away after her ex-boyfriend, Dontae R. Morris, allegedly fatally shot Tampa police officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis during a traffic stop. Police say that Morris fled on foot while Brantley drove off. They say that she did not cooperate with them after the shooting, and communicated with Morris regarding disposal of the vehicle involved.
Morris is currently at Florida State Prison in Raiford serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and a twenty-five-year sentence for armed robbery in another incident, a death sentence for a first-degree murder conviction in a third incident, and two death sentences and fifteen years for an escape conviction for the actions described above. He has not yet been given an execution date.
Bjorn Brunvand has been defending Floridians against capital murder charges for over a quarter century. Contact his offices now to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.