Home / U.S. / Suspected Tampa serial killer Howell Donaldson III was formally charged with murders in Seminole Heights, prosecutors say

Suspected Tampa serial killer Howell Donaldson III was formally charged with murders in Seminole Heights, prosecutors say



A Florida grand jury has indicted Tampa's alleged serial murder on four counts of premeditated gun murder, according to state prosecutors.

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The Tampa Police Department. He previously indicted Howard Donaldson III on four counts of murder in connection with the four shooting deaths that occurred between October 9 and November 14 in the Seminole Heights neighborhood after his arrest last week.

The grand jury has filed the indictment formally accusing Donaldson, state prosecutor Andrew Warren told a news conference on Thursday.

"The indictment means that the grand jury has found probable cause, that the defendant committed each of these four murders," he said.

<img src = "http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/howell-donaldson-rosita-donaldson-ap-jt-171207_4x3_992.jpg" border = "0" width = "640" height = "480" alt = "PHOTO: Howell Donaldson Jr., left, and his wife, Rosita the parents of Seminole Heights murder suspect Howell Donaldson III, appear in court in Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa, Florida, on December 7, 2017. [19659008] Octavio Jones / Tampa Bay Times via AP
Howell Donaldson Jr., left, and his wife, Rosita the parents of Seminole Heights murder suspect Howell Donaldson III, appear in court in the Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa, Fla., Dec. 7, 2017.

Warren promised that the Hillsborough County District Attorney's office will be "as transparent as possible every step of the way during the indictment." The prosecutor has contacted the families of the victims to inform them that the charges were presented, he said.

"My office continues to work to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law," he said. "I would like to remind everyone, please, have your thoughts and prayers for the victims and families at this time."

Donaldson was arrested on November 28 after his manager at a McDonald's in Ybor City alerted police about a McDonald's bag containing a firearm, which the authorities later matched. with the weapon used to kill the four victims.

On Thursday, a Hillsborough County judge ordered his parents, Rosita Donaldson and Howell Donaldson Jr., to show the cause why they should not be considered for contempt by refusing to give testimony to state prosecutors on Tuesday, despite being notified with a summons to do so, according to court documents. They would not answer questions related to the background, development history, mode of transportation, possession of weapons or the mood of your child, the motion indicates.

  PHOTO: Police investigate on the scene following the trail of a man with a gun at a McDonalds in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, on November 28, 2017. Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Tampa Bay Times a Through AP
Police investigate the scene following the example of a man with a gun at a McDonald's in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, on November 28, 2017.

The Donaldsons were " fully informed "about their actions and are" ready to take the consequence ", his lawyer, Ralph Fernandez, told ABC News on Wednesday.

Currently, Donaldson is being held without bail in a Hillsborough County jail. His indictment has been scheduled for December 12 and he has not yet filed a guilty plea.

It is unclear if Donaldson obtained a defense attorney.

ABC News & # 39; Rachel Katz contributed to this report.


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