Accused Tampa killer pleads not guilty

The man accused of fatally shooting four people during a killing spree that shocked Tampa, Florida, has entered a not...

Posted: Dec 13, 2017 7:23 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2017 7:23 AM

The man accused of fatally shooting four people during a killing spree that shocked Tampa, Florida, has entered a not guilty plea, a Hillsborough County court official said Tuesday.

Howell "Trai" Donaldson III, 24, who was indicted last week on four counts of premeditated murder with a firearm, entered a written plea of not guilty on all charges and his court appearance was waived, said Mike Moore, a spokesman for Hillsborough County court system.

Howell "Trai" Donaldson III, 24, is charged with four counts of premeditated murder

He's accused of killing four people in Seminole Heights in October and November

His next court date is January 25, by which time prosecutors will have decided whether to pursue the death penalty, according to Moore.

Donaldson was arrested in late November and accused of killing four people, seemingly at random, in Seminole Heights in October and November.

The victims -- Anthony Naiboa, Monica Hoffa, Benjamin Mitchell and Ronald Felton -- were shot and killed in separate incidents as they walked alone at night. At the time, police swarmed the area amid fears that a serial killer was on the loose.

Donaldson was taken into custody after a co-worker at McDonald's tipped off police about his handgun. He was picked up 51 days after the first killing.

Police detained Donaldson and determined his firearm was used in all four killings, according to the criminal affidavit.

Cellphone location data also connected him to areas near the killings when they occurred, a court affidavit stated.

A state judge last week ordered Donaldson's parents to appear in court on January 5 to "show cause" on why they shouldn't be held in civil contempt for refusing to answer investigators' questions about the case.

The Hillsborough County State Attorney has accused the parents of indirect criminal contempt for refusing to answer questions after being served with a subpoena. Investigators tried to question the parents about their son's background and state of mind.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 157079

Reported Deaths: 2296
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah32006550
Washington21377217
Marion18625287
Clackamas13456191
Lane10373131
Jackson8569118
Umatilla770982
Deschutes602765
Yamhill380069
Linn361357
Malheur336358
Polk308845
Klamath281655
Douglas259255
Josephine240056
Benton236618
Jefferson197630
Coos159121
Union130519
Columbia127721
Wasco122226
Lincoln113920
Hood River107129
Morrow105014
Crook78118
Clatsop7796
Baker6769
Curry4387
Tillamook4302
Lake3836
Harney2786
Grant2301
Wallowa1445
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
Eugene
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 51°
Corvallis
Mostly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 36°
Roseburg
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 51°
North Bend
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events