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Thread: Howell Emanuel Donaldson III (24) murdered four people in Tampa, Florida

  1. #26
    Senior Member catastrophe's Avatar
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    CAUGHT: Arrest made in Seminole Heights murders
    . TAMPA, Fla. ? It was a tip from a McDonalds that ultimately fed an entire neighborhood the news they wanted to hear for two months ? the arrest of a suspected serial killer.

    Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, will be charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Benjamin Edward Mitchell, Monica Caridad Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton in Southeast Seminole Heights.

    Donaldson was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at the restaurant on East 13th Avenue in Ybor City after another employee said he handed a gun to a manager, who then reached out to an officer who was already in the building.

    Speculation of an arrest in the killings quickly spread. A crowd gathered in the parking lot. Police Chief Brian Dugan gave a press conference to quell any excitement of an arrest while also expressing cautious optimism.

    Hours later, his feelings were validated.

    "When I think I found out there was a gun, and when we looked at his description, it was a little more than what we really had," he said. "It just felt right. I kinda had a feeling that we were going to get a break."

    Investigators are still determining Donaldson's connection to the neighborhood, said Dugan, who did not elaborate on whether he confessed to the killings.

    "We're not sure why he was in this neighborhood," Dugan said. "We're not aware what his ties are and we don't know what his motive is. But there is a lot more to go."

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn described the killings and the subsequent investigation as a battle between good and evil.

    "Well tonight, goodness has won," he said. "Tonight, in the battle between darkness and light, light has won."

    Buckhorn added that Tuesday's arrest is not the end.

    "Tonight is the beginning of when justice will be served," he said. "And then the process will occur when this individual rots in hell."

    It's not the first time Buckhorn has used expressive language during the investigation.

    ?It neighborhood? gripped in fear

    Donaldson?s arrest happened during the kick off for the first annual ?Light the Heights? event.

    The effort aimed to light every home with Christmas lights and some holiday cheer.

    "We have a goal of having every house in our neighborhood lit up to bring a positive light to our neighborhood,? organizer Courtney Bumgarnar said.

    The event also aimed to build neighborhood unity during a time of uncertainty.

    http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/semin...ders/495348497

  2. #27
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    There is already a FB page pleading his innocence:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/icantbutmikesican/


    DISCLAIMER: The following quotes are not in reference to your loved one. They are quotes found to be funny in regard to much older cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by songbirdsong View Post

    Okay this is the part where I admit he's kind of pretty, or at least he would be if he hadn't killed his sister and smeared poo on her candy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post

    Is she scowling in every pic, or is that her unfortunate face?!?

  3. #28
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Here is Donaldson's FB: https://www.facebook.com/trai.donaldson


    DISCLAIMER: The following quotes are not in reference to your loved one. They are quotes found to be funny in regard to much older cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by songbirdsong View Post

    Okay this is the part where I admit he's kind of pretty, or at least he would be if he hadn't killed his sister and smeared poo on her candy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post

    Is she scowling in every pic, or is that her unfortunate face?!?

  4. #29
    (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Amy1217's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewitchingstorm View Post
    There is already a FB page pleading his innocence:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/icantbutmikesican/
    Interesting Facebook says this page was created a year ago.

  5. #30
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    So I am guessing ballistics match, and he admits it's his gun.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/28/us/tam...hts/index.html

    Tampa killings suspect charged with 4 counts of murder

    After a nearly two-month search, Tampa police arrested and charged a 24-year-old man with four counts of murder in connection to a series of fatal shootings that had terrified residents in the city's Seminole Heights neighborhood.
    Howell Donaldson III was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at a nearby McDonald's after police recovered a gun that they said had been used in the four killings.

    Donaldson admitted that he owned the gun but did not admit to the killings, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said, but police are convinced that they finally caught the person responsible.

    "We've had other guns, but we knew this was the one," Dugan said. "Now the work begins to shore up the case and get a full prosecution."
    Police said they didn't yet know the motive for the killings or why the suspect chose Seminole Heights.

    "He was friendly and nice to the cops, but he didn't give us anything, tell us why he was doing it or anything like that," Dugan said.

    For weeks, officials had said they were not calling the suspect a serial killer. But on Wednesday, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said he was proud of the city, which "has now spent the last 51 days dealing with a serial killer."


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  6. #31
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...llings-n824721

    Dugan gave no further information about Donaldson, including his hometown, saying charging documents were still being drafted. But he said he believed Donaldson may have worked at the restaurant at some point.

    Florida records indicated that Donaldson has no criminal past beyond a handful of traffic citations. He was arrested in New York City in May 2014 but details about the case were not immediately available.

    Donaldson graduated St. John's University in Queens, New York last January. He first enrolled in the school in 2011 and was a walk-on member of the school's basketball team during the 2011-12 season, the school's spokesman said.

    Peabo Johnson, an employee of the McDonald's, told NBC affiliate WFLA that he was working the grill station when a man walked into the restaurant carrying a book bag. He said that the man asked the manager to hold the bag for him while he went to cash a check but that he told her not to look inside it.

    She looked anyway, Johnson said. That was when she found the gun and called police. When the man came back, officers converged to "swarm him, get him to the ground," Johnson said.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  7. #32
    Senior Member catastrophe's Avatar
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    Reading around on in the FB group, I see that apparently he may have been dating the McDonald's manager-?
    Hence why he was so comfortable with asking them to hold on to the bag...

  8. #33
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catastrophe View Post


    Reading around on in the FB group, I see that apparently he may have been dating the McDonald's manager-?
    Hence why he was so comfortable with asking them to hold on to the bag...
    He's fucked, and rightly so it sounds like! I am so glad that employee called the cops when he/she saw the gun. What's funny is, the biggest sign I saw when I was over there a couple of weeks ago, was right by this particular McDonalds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy1217 View Post
    Interesting Facebook says this page was created a year ago.
    Good catch! I wonder if that is a FB page, which tries to highlight cases all the time?


    DISCLAIMER: The following quotes are not in reference to your loved one. They are quotes found to be funny in regard to much older cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by songbirdsong View Post

    Okay this is the part where I admit he's kind of pretty, or at least he would be if he hadn't killed his sister and smeared poo on her candy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post

    Is she scowling in every pic, or is that her unfortunate face?!?

  10. #35
    Senior Member catastrophe's Avatar
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    Seminole Heights Killings: Timeline of events that led to arrest of Howell Emanuel Donaldson III
    A witness provided a sworn statement to law enforcement that she saw an African-American male shoot Felton. The same witness told police that the suspect ran eastbound in the 900 block of East McBerry Street. The witness described the male as approximately 6-feet tall with a thin, strong build.

    Video surveillance footage from a nearby business shows a single suspect shoot Felton as he crossed Nebraska Avenue.

    All four murders took place in the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa.

    The F.D.L.E. and A.T.F. analysis of the fired cartridge casings recovered from all four scenes proved that the same firearm was used to shoot all four victims. The casings were further identified as being fired in a Glock .40 caliber handgun.

    During the ongoing investigation related to the pattern of the homicides, call detail records were obtained from AT&T. The records showed that within minutes of the murders on October 9, October 11, and October 19, Davidson's cell phone was geographically associated with the AT&T cell tower providing coverage for the areas that include all the homicide locations.

    Clothing Found in Car

    When police searched Donaldson's car, they found clothing that looked similar to the clothes worn by the subject captured in surveillance video the night Benjamin Mitchell was murdered. The arrest affidavit states that police saw what appeared to be a blood stain on an article of clothing.

    The Firearm

    The F.D.L.E. comparison of the Glock firearm to the cartridge casings revealed that the cartridge casings, which were recovered in the first three murders, were fired through the Glock firearm. The casings in the fourth murder were unavailable for comparison but had been previously identified as being fired in the same firearm as the previous three. The recovered Glock firearm was loaded with a magazine containing five rounds of SIG brand Smith and Wesson .40 caliber ammunition.

    Investigation into the firearm's purchase revealed that Donaldson purchased the firearm on October 3, 2017, and he picked it up on October 7. His purchase was in accordance with the mandatory wait period, which requires three days between purchase and delivery of a firearm, according to the Florida Constitution.

    Receipts of purchase further revealed that Donaldson purchased a 20-round box of SIG brand Smith and Wesson ammunition on October 7.
    Timeline at link:
    http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/re...-donaldson-iii

  11. #36
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-we...spects-arrest/

    The co-worker opened the bag, saw the loaded semi-automatic gun and notified her manager, who told an officer who was in the McDonald's doing paperwork. The officer took the gun and she notified the police operations center, Dugan said. Officers made contact with Donaldson when he returned to the restaurant just after 2:30 p.m., Dugan said.

    Dugan said he didn't believe Donaldson was trying to turn himself in when he passed the gun to the co-worker to hold, and it's possible he didn't think she would open the bag.

    "The person who called us, I cannot thank them enough for standing up and doing the right thing and saying, 'This doesn't seem right, why does this person have a gun in a bag?'" Dugan said.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...id=mailsignout

    'Quiet, polite young man'

    Donaldson, who also went by "Trai," attended Alonso High School in Tampa for half of his junior year and his senior year, the Hillsborough County School District confirmed.

    From there, he attended St. John's University in New York beginning in fall 2011, and he graduated in January 2017, according to Brian Browne, executive director of University Relations. He was a walk-on for the men's basketball team during the 2011-2012 season but never played in a game, Browne said.

    His freshman-year suitemate at St. John's, who asked to not be identified, said his "mouth dropped" when he saw Donaldson's mugshot early Wednesday morning.

    "It's just like, what? Not Trai. I just don't see what his motive would be," he said.

    His first impression of Donaldson was that he was quiet, although the suitemate admitted that was typical the first few days of school. He said Donaldson had the best manners, dressed very well, and was a sneakerhead.

    The former suitemate said he never saw Donaldson angry, and at parties, he was a wallflower.

    "[Trai was] just a regular guy," the former suitemate said. "Nothing stood out as violent."

    Tony Estevez, a neighbor who has known Donaldson for about 20 years, said he was skeptical that Donaldson was responsible for the killings. Donaldson grew up with Estevez's son, and he had come over to their house to watch football and hang by the pool just this past Saturday.

    "He is the most quiet, polite young man," Estevez said. "I've never seen him say a bad word."


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    Thank goodness they caught him. Trying to nail down a random killer is so hard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    I know, right? What the fuck, puke? Willing to take in Boston, an Irish dude and like, 17 dogs but not Ron? poor Ron.

  13. #38
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Earlier this afternoon Crime Stoppers said it would not not pay out a reward, since the tipster didn't call them directly. It appears that they have now changed their minds.

    http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/se...ine-fundraiser

    UPDATE: Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay said in a written statement late Thursday that they will honor a $5,000 reward for the McDonalds tipster even though she is not eligible because she did not call the tip line.

    In a statement, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay wrote they will make a rare exception to pay Delonda Walker, but from another account.
    Previous Coverage:

    TAMPA, Fla. -- A Florida man who lived in Seminole Heights for 11 years has created a fundraiser for the McDonald's employee who alerted police to the suspected killer after Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay announced she is not eligible for the $5,000 reward that led to the Seminole Heights killer.

    Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay announced Wednesday Walker is not eligible for the $5,000 reward money because she did not actually call the 1-800 tip line.
    https://nypost.com/2017/11/30/mcdona...serial-killer/

    Police said they’d sift through the various offers to see which Walker might be eligible for — because she was indeed the one that helped them make the collar.

    “The co-worker opened a bag and saw a gun and gave the bag to a police officer that was in Mcdonald’s. That was the info we were looking for. That’s what we needed,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said Wednesday.

    One good Samaritan just couldn’t wait, however — local restaurateur Richard Gonzmart, who’d pledged $9,000 to help find the killer, already marched over to the McDonald’s and handed her the check himself.

    “I don’t know policy, but I know as a citizen I made a commitment,” he told WTSP. “I’m proud we have the killer in jail.”

    Other cash rewards were offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Rise Tampa.
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 11-30-2017 at 06:33 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  14. #39
    Senior Member Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    WTF Crime stoppers! I can't believe they weren't going to honor it at first. People might stop reporting. Asshats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    I know, right? What the fuck, puke? Willing to take in Boston, an Irish dude and like, 17 dogs but not Ron? poor Ron.

  15. #40
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Babe 73 View Post
    WTF Crime stoppers! I can't believe they weren't going to honor it at first. People might stop reporting. Asshats.
    Yeah, I don't care if she sent it via smoke signal...as long as they got the info and were able to use it to stop a serial killer, that is all that should matter! I am super grateful that she made the call!


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  16. #41
    Senior Member Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Yeah, I don't care if she sent it via smoke signal...as long as they got the info and were able to use it to stop a serial killer, that is all that should matter! I am super grateful that she made the call!
    It's Five Thousand dollars. We're not talking a HUGE reward or something. She stopped a serial killer. 5K is the LEAST they should give her. For a McDonalds employee that's a huge help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    I know, right? What the fuck, puke? Willing to take in Boston, an Irish dude and like, 17 dogs but not Ron? poor Ron.

  17. #42
    Senior Member catastrophe's Avatar
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    Friend says suspect in Seminole Heights killings was happy and affable days before first murder

    TAMPA? About a week before police say he killed a stranger for no reason, Howell "Trai" Donaldson III spotted a childhood friend in the cafeteria of his office building.

    Donaldson called out his name then ran up to chat with Jacob Peters for the first time in about 8 years. Donaldson seemed "totally, completely normal," Peters, 26, told the Tampa Bay Times. He laughed and smiled as he bombarded Peters with questions about what he had done with his life since high school.

    "Now I get the chills just thinking I talked to this dude," Peters said.

    Days later, on Oct. 9, a neighbor found 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell lying by a HART bus stop on E. Frierson Avenue in Seminole Heights. He was bleeding from his stomach, where he had been shot by the same gun, Tampa police said, that Donaldson inexplicably handed to a manager at the Ybor City McDonald?s where he worked. That?s what led to his arrest Tuesday, after investigators matched the gun to four murders that terrorized Seminole Heights over a 51-day span.

    Donaldson, 24, confessed to buying the gun Oct. 3, but police say he has not confessed to the murders. At his bond hearing Thursday, he wore a suicide-prevention jacket. His parents haven?t returned phone calls or answered knocks on the door of their Old Bay Crest home. They don?t want media attention, their attorney said.

    But that day in October, on the first-floor cafe in the "Spectrum" office building at 3101 W Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Peters was so happy to see his old friend he paid for his lunch ? a buffalo chicken wrap.

    "No joke, he was still the nicest dude," Peters said. "You can?t make this stuff up. Growing up with the kid he was always respectful, he knew my family and I knew his family. I never would have thought he was capable of this."

    They laughed at the odd coincidence of once again being neighbors ? Peters works at the PricewaterhouseCoopers? office in a building next door to the Ultimate Medical Academy office where Donaldson began a customer service job in January.

    But it struck Peters as odd that Donaldson wasn?t dressed in the usual business attire worn by others in the company cafeteria. He was wearing a red sweatshirt and basketball shorts. It was odd, too, that he didn?t reveal any personal information, Peters said. When Peters began walking towards a table to eat his lunch Donaldson simply walked away, ending their conversation after just a few minutes of reminiscing, Peters said.

    RELATED: Police chief: McDonald?s worker to receive ?every penny? of $110,000 reward

    Thinking back, Peters said it seems strange he knows so little about Donaldson?s parents. Donaldson only invited his tight group of friends ? they called themselves the Bay Crest Bunch ? to his house once, sneaking them in when his parents weren?t home. Peters said the parents never seemed to engage the boys or their parents in conversation.

    UMA confirmed after Donaldson?s arrest that he was fired in May for absenteeism.

    "I guess people change, but this was unexpected," Peters said.

    The two boys and a handful of others who lived in their Old Bay Crest neighborhood off Memorial Highway grew up together. Their parents treated them all as their own. But in high school the boys began to drift apart. Donaldson played basketball at Tampa Catholic and Alonso High while Peters played basketball at a private Christian school. After graduation both boys eventually lost touch completely. Peters moved to St. Augustine to attend Flagler College and Donaldson moved to New York, where he attended and eventually graduated from St. Johns University in New York.
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publics...rder_163182220

  18. #43
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    http://abcnews.go.com/US/mcdonalds-m...ry?id=51512315

    McDonald's manager to receive entire $110K reward for tip that led to Tampa murder suspect

    The McDonald's general manager whose tip led police to the suspected Tampa serial killer will receive the entire $110,000 reward, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Friday.

    Delonda Walker alerted police Tuesday after suspect Howell Donaldson III, 24, handed her a McDonald's food bag containing a .40-caliber Glock, which Tampa police later said matched the murder weapon used in all four shootings that occurred in the Seminole Heights neighborhood between Oct. 9 and Nov. 14.

    Donaldson allegedly told Walker that he planned to leave the state. Walker then approached a police officer who happened to be at the Ybor City McDonald's to turn over the bag, officials said.

    In a statement read by Buckhorn in a press conference Friday, Walker said, "receiving a reward never entered my mind."

    "I went to work on Tuesday intending to serve customers and do my job. The day turned out very differently," she said. "When confronted with this situation, I wanted to do the right thing and I reached out to a nearby police officer."

    Walker said she is "grateful" that she was able to assist law enforcement but requested privacy amid the ongoing investigation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  19. #44
    Senior Member catastrophe's Avatar
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    Naiboas thank McDonald's manager who helped solve Seminole Heights case: 'She is our hero'

    TAMPA ? There were big hugs all around, said Casimar Naiboa, as he and his family finally got a chance to meet the woman whose discovery of a gun in a McDonald's bag helped end a 51-day of terror in southeast Seminole Heights.

    "It was fantastic to meet her," said Naiboa of Delonda Walker, the manager of the McDonald's restaurant in Ybor City who discovered a 40. caliber Glock pistol in a bag handed to her by Howell Emanuel Donaldson III.

    On Oct. 19, Naiboa's son ? Anthony, 20 ? was gunned down, police say, by Donaldson. It was the third in what would eventually be a series of four murders that Donaldson, 24, is now charged with committing.

    "We hugged her and told her she is our hero," said Naiboa.

    When Naiboa and his family arrived at the McDonald's on Thursday to thank Walker, she wasn't there. But her co-workers recognized the family and contacted Walker, who showed up about a half-hour later.

    Walker, he said, explained what happened Tuesday that ultimately led the arrest and charging of Donaldson.

    Some time around 2 p.m., Donaldson walked out of the restaurant and, seeing police outside, quickly ducked back in, Naiboa said. Then Donaldson handed Walker a McDonald's bag, and told her not to look inside. Then he walked outside of the restaurant again.

    Walker felt the bag was heavy, said Naiboa. She felt something hard inside. She took it into a back room, opened up the bag and saw the gun. Then, seeing a policewoman outside, she handed the bag with the gun over.

    The officer called in for backup and soon, police were swarming all over, Naiboa said Walker told him.

    A while later, Donaldson returned and police began to question him, Naiboa said Walker told him.

    Walker, he said, described Donaldson as "weird.

    "She told us he never talked to anyone but her," said Naiboa.


    Other workers, whose names he did not get, said they thought that Donaldson, who had been working there for about four months, could be the man seen in the videos released by police, but were unsure.

    "They told me they thought they might be thinking too much," said Naiboa.

    The family ? his wife Maria, and children ? were all wearing T-shirts with Anthony's picture. They thanked Walker profusely, Naiboa said.

    "If it wasn't for her," he said, "that guy might still be out there."

    At first, Walker didn't know the extent of what she had done, said Naiboa.

    She didn't realize until several hours later, when media began to show up, that the man with the gun was thought to be connected to the Seminole Heights killings.

    "She is kind of overwhelmed," he said. "She didn't want the publicity and all this attention."

    Days later, Naiboa said she is still having a hard time comprehending it all.

    "She did such a good thing," he said. "But she said it still hasn't sunk in yet."
    http://www.tbo.com/news/publicsafety...se-she/2345533

  20. #45
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    There has been talk that this murder might be tied to the suspect also. Check out this sketch compared to what he looks like, and the hoodie the perp wore during these murders:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publics...-death/2312001




    Police released a composite sketch Friday of a man seen in an area where a body was discovered late last month, hoping to learn more information.

    Dontae Lampkins, 25, lived near the Florida State Fairgrounds, but was found dead in an alley in a Seminole Heights neighborhood Jan. 26.
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 12-03-2017 at 06:03 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  21. #46
    Senior Member raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/06/us/tam...nts/index.html

    Parents of accused Tampa killer refuse to cooperate with investigators

    The parents of the man accused of killing four people in a Tampa, Florida, neighborhood face possible contempt charges when they appear before a judge Thursday to explain why they're not cooperating with investigators, according to their attorney.

    "I cannot fathom a worse scenario than a parent having to testify against their child in such a serious matter," attorney Ralph Fernandez told CNN Wednesday.

    "It goes against everything we stand for as a people in this country -- dividing the home."

    A motion filed Wednesday by the office of Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren said Donaldson's father, also named Howell, refused to answer questions -- under oath -- posed by prosecutors a day earlier. A similar motion was later filed naming Rosita Donaldson, the suspect's mother, for also not answering prosecutors' questions.

    'Indirect criminal contempt'

    "Mr. Donaldson refused to answer any question related to the investigation of the involvement of his son, Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, in the deaths of Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton, and refused to answer any questions related to his son's background, developmental history, mode of transportation, gun possession and ownership, and state of mind," the motion to show cause stated.

    "In refusing to answer, Mr. Donaldson did not invoke any statutory privilege or any privilege derived from the Florida or United States Constitution. Mr. Donaldson's refusal to testify in the above-described proceeding, despite having received a court- authorized subpoena, constitutes indirect criminal contempt of this Honorable Court."

    Fernandez questioned why prosecutors would take such an "extraordinary step," given the evidence they claim to have against the younger Donaldson.

    Fernandez told CNN affiliate WFLA that when prosecutors asked about Donaldson's life on Tuesday, one parent responded: "Testify against our son? You mean to testify against our baby?"

    The attorney told the station the parents, who he described as the "perfect family," were interviewed separately and declined to answer questions about their son's mental health, his state of mind before the killings and whether he was under psychiatric care.'

    "Each time the response that was elicited was, 'I'm not going to answer that question,'" Fernandez said.

    The couple have said they are devastated and in disbelief that their son could have done such a thing.

    "Everybody is in disbelief," Rosita Donaldson told CNN affiliate WFTS on Friday. "Anybody that knows Trai knows that's not Trai. He doesn't have the personality of that character."


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  22. #47
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    http://abcnews.go.com/US/suspected-t...ry?id=51653894

    Suspected Tampa serial killer Howell Donaldson III indicted in Seminole Heights murders, prosecutors say

    A Florida grand jury has indicted the suspected Tampa serial killing with four counts of premeditated murder with a firearm, according to state prosecutors.

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

    The grand jury has returned the indictment officially charging Donaldson, said State Attorney Andrew Warren in a press conference Thursday.

    "The indictment means that the grand jury has found that probable cause exists, that the defendant committed each of these four murders," he said.
    On Thursday, a Hillsborough County judge ordered his parents, Rosita Donaldson and Howell Donaldson Jr., to show cause on why they should not be held in contempt for refusing provide testimony to state prosecutors Tuesday, despite being served with a subpoena ordering them to do so, according to court documents. They would not answer questions relating to their son's background, developmental history, mode of transportation, gun possession or state of mind, the motion states.

    The Donaldsons were "fully advised" on their actions and are "ready to take the consequence," their attorney, Ralph Fernandez, told ABC News on Wednesday.

    Donaldson is currently being held without bond in a Hillsborough County jail. His arraignment has been scheduled for Dec. 12, and he has not yet entered a plea.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  23. #48
    Senior Member catastrophe's Avatar
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    Does accused serial killer, Howell ?Trai? Donaldson III have ties to the Seminole Heights neighborhood?

    Did family as a whole have any connection to neighborhood?
    Court documents point to a 2016 connection
    Connection involves former boyfriend of suspect's sister
    In a press conference a day after his arrest last month, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said they were trying to figure out his ties to the area.

    ?We have not been able to find a connection his connection to the neighborhood yet. I always felt whoever was doing it was very familiar with the neighborhood,? Dugan said. ?We have not been able to determine why he picked southeast Seminole Heights. We?re not sure if he had a friend there that he was staying with. There?s a lot of unanswered questions.?

    Days after his arrest, court documents show investigators asked the suspect?s father, Howell Donaldson Jr., if his son had any connection to the Seminole Heights neighborhood, and that Donaldson Jr. refused to answer.

    He was then asked if his other two children had ties to the area, and again he refused to answer, according to documents. Investigators say the suspect?s mother Rosita refused to answer questions, too.

    Last week the couple had to go before a judge after refusing to answer investigators questions. The couple?s attorney Ralph Fernandez says his clients were put in a bad position.

    ?Would you testify against your child in a criminal prosecution where your child would face death?? Fernandez said.

    After investigating the family?s history, we discovered there is a connection to Seminole Heights.

    Court documents show in 2016, Donaldson Jr. filed a petition for injunction for protection against stalking, also known as a restraining order, against his daughter?s boyfriend.

    Donaldson Jr. accused the boyfriend of threatening their family and telling Donaldson Jr. if he had a gun he would shoot him. The document also shows that the suspect?s mother, sister and brother were listed on the order of protection, but the suspect?s name is not listed.

    We?re not naming the boyfriend because the injunction was denied by a judge. The judge cited that the facts as alleged didn?t meet Florida statues definition of stalking.

    However, we did look into the boyfriend?s background and several of his arrest records. Those records show his most recent arrest lists his address at a home in Seminole Heights.

    Further, the boyfriend's address is a five-minute walk from where the first victim, Benjamin Mitchell was killed. It?s an eight-minute walk from where the body of the second victim, Monica Hoffa, was found, a four-minute walk from where the third victim, Anthony Naiboa, was murdered and an eight-minute walk from where the fourth victim, Ronald Felton was gunned down.

    We asked the state attorney?s office if they were looking into this connection. A spokesperson said they couldn?t confirm or deny if they were looking into this because they don?t reveal case strategy.
    http://www.baynews9.com/content/news...ents_show.html

  24. #49
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    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...219-story.html

    Couple who provided video of Tampa serial killer suspect want part of $110,000 reward

    TAMPA — The homeowners who provided police with the eerie surveillance video of the hooded man accused in a string of fatal shootings that terrorized a Florida neighborhood during October and November now want a piece of the $110,000 reward.

    Police in Tampa released the video that showed a man slowly walking down a Seminole Heights street just before an Oct. 9 shooting and then running in the opposite direction moments later.

    The cameras are attached to Patrick and Kelly Holladay's bungalow. They told the Tampa Bay Times it would have been nice to have shared in the reward. That money was given to a McDonald's manager, Delonda Walker, who helped break the case when the suspect in the killings handed her a paper bag with a gun inside on Nov. 28. She showed it to a police officer who was in the restaurant.

    Most of the donors who contributed to the reward fund conferred with Tampa police before Chief Brian Dugan and Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced that Walker would get the money.

    "I was not amused that we weren't considered for anything," said Kelly Holladay, 50. "We put ourselves in jeopardy and helped police immensely. I hate to say these words but we might seek legal advice."

    Police spokesman Steve Hegarty said the decision was made "to give it to the person whose actions led directly to the arrest of the suspect."

    The Holladays argue that their video was all police had to go on for several weeks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

  25. #50
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    http://wfla.com/2018/01/17/suspected...n-court-today/

    Documents sealed in case against Seminole Heights murder suspect


    Donaldson was not in court for a status hearing on Wednesday morning. During a status hearing, state and defense attorneys can talk about things such as discovery (evidence), scheduled hearings and motions, trial dates and possible plea offers.

    In court on Wednesday morning, defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed that the search warrants should remain sealed. Currently, even the court cannot see them.

    The state said the search warrants only need to be accessible to attorneys and law enforcement and that if the judge wanted to review documents then they would provide the original hard copy.

    The defense had no problem with them remaining sealed until discovery is released.

    Both sides are concerned with investigative information being leaked out before the discovery process starts.

    Meanwhile, a hearing for the suspect’s parents was rescheduled for Friday Jan 26 at 8:30 am. On this date Rosita and Howell Donaldson Jr. will learn if they will be held in contempt of court for not testifying in response to subpoenas issued by the state attorney.

    On Jan. 25 we should find out if the state attorney will seek the death penalty if Donaldson is found guilty of the murders.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He left an apology note? Ok he's crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words Words View Post
    that's what makes him crazy? I thought it was the chips.

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