Sat. May 14th, 2022

Fellow Inmate, Morris Moore, Testifies Against Michael Corrales in Murder Sentencing Trial

While incarcerated, Michael Corrales made incriminating statements to other inmates regarding the murder of Charles Kilpatrick. A case summary of this case can be read here. The following is a transcript of part of the testimony given by a Morris Elliot Moore at Corrales’s sentencing hearing:

Michael Corrales

Prosecutor: Mr. Moore, are you familiar with Michael Corrales?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: How did you first meet him?

Moore: He was in the cell downstairs from me and we was at Gulf C. I. Annex. He was in P-1, 117, I was in P-2, 217.

Prosecutor: And during the, did he eventually become, actually housed in the same cell as you?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: During the time that he was housed in the cell with you, did you have any conversation with him about the events that happened in Saint Cloud?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Could you tell the Court what it is that Mr. – as best as you recall it – what it is that Mr. Corrales told you about what happened in this case?

Moore: It’s been awhile. He was basically, wanted to, first he started out he wanted to brag about killing someone. He was like “yeah, I got a murder charge, yeah, I killed someone”, or something like –yeah. Well, when he came into my cell over time he eventually opened up. You know, I never pushed him, you know what I’m saying? I just let him talk ‘cause he wanted to vent. He felt he could trust me on that. So he started telling me about how him and his codefendant had killed someone in Saint Cloud.

Prosecutor: Let me ask you this, what part of the State of Florida are you from?

Moore: I’m from Hillsborough County, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Have you ever been to Saint Cloud before?

Moore: No, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Before you started talking to Mr. Corrales in the prison had you ever heard anything about any of this –this crime that happened in Saint Cloud?

Moore: No, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Okay. What specific details did he give you about what had happened with him and his codefendant in Saint Cloud?

Moore: It started out he was like “my codefendant is a dumb ass. He took off with the truck. He’s riding around in a dead man’s truck” you know. He was like – he killed someone. He didn’t tell me who he killed or anything like that. He told me why he killed him.

Prosecutor: What, what did he tell you as far as why he killed him?

Moore: So he can get some drugs.

Prosecutor: Did he tell you he had any other motivations?

Moore: Yeah. He was, he is, he’s satanic and he was like he gotta, he was telling me, he’s just trying, he’s trying to revert [sic] me into believing what he believe in, but he was more like “yeah, I had to kill him to get another soul for the devil can bless me” and some more, some crap like that, you know.

Prosecutor: Did he, did he ever tell you exactly how he killed him?

Moore: Naw, he was really, he got a little explicit, but he never really told me what his, what his actual weapon of choice was. He was really more like he slashed and dashed and, you know, he just told me it was a lot of blood.

Prosecutor:  Did Mr. Corrales ever express any remorse to you about his actions in killing the person in Saint Cloud?

Moore: No, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Did he ever make any statements to you about any regrets he had about what he had done?

Moore: No, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Did he ever tell you whether he, whether the person in Saint Cloud was the only person he ever killed?

Moore: No. He had supposedly killed somebody, he told me he killed somebody else and I thought he was playing. He told me he had killed somebody in Sanford. I thought he, you know, I thought he was just beating, beating up the bush, but it turned out to be serious.

Prosecutor: When you, did you challenge him on, on whether or not he was really a killer?

Moore: Yeah. I told, I got tired of hearing it. He was really trying to force some satanic belief on me. You know, I was reading my bible when the dude came into the cell. So, you know, I was trying to really get into it and he kept on pushing this satanic stuff on me. So I kind of got angry with him like “man, you ain’t no killer, man, you never killed a fly” and he was like “I ain’t no killer?” He kind of went off like he wanted to swing at me. He was like “yeah, I killed him. I actually did, mother f’er and in Saint cloud I actually did. Joe got killed behind the store in Sanford.”

Prosecutor: Did, did Mr. Corrales ever make any statements to you about any thoughts about his codefendant, Mr. Shipley?

Moore: Yeah, it was, he regretted not killing him because he, when it actually happened he was, he say Shipley was looking at the guy and he was like “man, you killed the man, he’s dead” and he was like freaking out. He was like, he should have killed him then but…

Prosecutor: Did Mr. Corrales express any concerns about leaving behind witnesses?

Moore: His codefendant.

Prosecutor: Now, about how long was it that you shared a cell with Mr. Corrales?

Moore: I think roughly like a day and couple days, a month and a couple of days or so.

Prosecutor: And when he was telling you this stuff though were you taking note, notes about what he was telling you?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: And what are you incarcerated for?

Moore: Armed robbery.

Prosecutor: And if, when, at the time when you were listening to Mr. Corrales had you, had anyone asked you to listen to him or pay attention to him?

Moore: No, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Did you decide to take what you know, what Mr. Corrales told you and contact the authorities?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: And have you been promised, have you been promised or received any benefits for agreeing to share what you knew about Mr. Corrales?

Moore: No, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Were you, did, did, as a result of your request were you moved to a different facility?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Have you been promised any specific results as to, as far as reduction in your sentence?

Moore: I was, it was, it wasn’t never really a promise. It was just more like “we’ll speak to you, we’re gonna speak to your judge” because, it was brought to me saying that I was helping so they’re gonna try to help me out as best they can for what I’ve done.

Prosecutor: But have you been told that, again, your sentence was in another jurisdiction, correct?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: And so that, we have actually no power to directly affect your sentence, is that correct?

Moore: Yes, ma’am.

Prosecutor: Why did you decide to come forward with what you knew about Mr. Corrales.

Moore: It was really the right thing to do, you know, what I’m…

Prosecutor: Okay. No further questions.

The Court: All right. Mr. Dowdy, you may inquire.

Defense: Thank you, judge.

Defense: Mr. Moore, you’re in prison for armed robbery?

Moore: Yes, sir.

Defense: How old are you?

Moore: 27 years old, sir.

Defense: How long you been incarcerated for?

Moore: Since I was 18, sir.

Defense: How long is your sentence for?

Moore: 20 years, sir.

Defense: 20 years?

Moore: Yes, sir.

Defense: Where did you commit the armed robbery at?

Moore: Hillsborough County, sir.

Defense: Tampa Bay area?

Moore: Yes, sir.

Defense: And for that armed robbery you received 20 years?

Moore: Yes, sir.

Defense: So is it fair to say you’ve been in trouble before you were 18 years old?

Moore: As a juvenile?

Defense: Yes, sir.

Moore: I, I had no violent crimes before. It’s more like just stealing cars and stuff like that.

Defense: Just like stealing cars, things like that?

Moore: Yes, sir.

Defense: Okay, nothing violent?

Moore: No violent charges, sir.

Defense: But the armed robbery, that wasn’t with a weapon or anything was it, or was it?

Moore: I admitted to the court that I committed the robbery, but I told ‘em it wasn’t a gun and then they never got a gun. The victim assumed I had a gun, and the Judge say he believed that I didn’t have a gun.

Defense: Uh-huh.  

Moore: But I was still sentenced to it because it was a plea to the bench.

Defense: So you’ve been sentenced to 20 years and you’ve been in prison now about 9 years?

Moore: Yes, sir.

Defense: You’re pretty familiar with the prison system aren’t you?

Moore: Yes, sir.

Defense: It’s pretty dangerous, isn’t it?

Moore: Yes, sir.

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