Parents of Seminole Heights murders suspect given time to 'show cause'


The mother and father of the Seminole Heights murders suspect appeared earlier than a Hillsborough County decide Thursday morning and have been informed to report again in early January.

  • Suspect’s mother and father appeared in courtroom Thursday
  • Mother and father haven’t answered all investigators questions
  • Howell Donaldson III, 24, is dealing with 4 counts of first diploma homicide

A decide advised Howell Donaldson Jr. and his spouse, Rosita Donaldson to return to courtroom Jan. 5 to “present trigger as to why they shouldn’t be held in oblique civil contempt” for not answering sure questions posted to them by investigators.

Howell Donaldson III, 24, is dealing with 4 counts of first diploma homicide within the Seminole Heights killings.

He was arrested Nov. 28 on the Ybor Metropolis McDonald’s the place he labored. He was detained after a co-employee informed police that Donaldson handed her a bag with a gun inside and informed her to observe it for him. The co-employee alerted a police officer that was within the McDonald’s.

In courtroom Thursday, Ralph Fernandez, the lawyer for the mother and father, stated they “have been devastated not only for the private tragedy” however for the whole lot that is occurred.

State Prosecutor Jay Pruner argued there isn’t a privilege which permits the mother and father to keep away from answering questions.

Seminole Heights residents and police had been on edge since Oct. 9, when 22-yr-previous Benjamin Mitchell was shot to demise. 

Two days later, 32-yr-previous Monica Hoffa, was slain. And on Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was killed after taking the fallacious bus house from his new job. On Nov. 14, 60-yr-previous Ronald Felton was shot and killed.

As a part of the continued investigation, investigators have been following hundreds of ideas and leads that got here in, interviewing relations of the victims and speaking to Donaldson III’s household.

However Donaldson Jr. and his spouse, Rosita Donaldson haven’t answered all of their questions. Howell Donaldson Jr. might face contempt costs.

“We’re going to use each avenue at our disposal to acquire probably the most out there proof,” stated Hillsborough County State Lawyer Andrew Warren. “(We’ve) to find out what occurred to convey prosecution to this defendant.”

The Donaldson’s lawyer, Ralph E. Fernandez, hasn’t provided a authorized argument for why they are not cooperating with the investigation, solely saying it’s too quickly for them to be pressured to reply questions. 

“Inside days of this tragedy hanging, you understand, devastated as they’re, exhausted,” Fernandez stated. “They’re being requested to render testimony…



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