Death Penalty Sought for Seminole Heights Killer

posted by Alan McBride - 

The Hillsborough State Attorney says the state will seek the death penalty in the case of the Seminole Heights killer.

The announcement from State Attorney Andrew Warren's office came Tuesday.

Records note that Howell Donaldson III is accused of gunning down four people in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa Bay, and has pleaded not guilty.

Warren said that seeking the death penalty was the most "serious and sobering decision" a prosecutor could make.

But Warren also described the four murders as "cold, calculating, and premeditated."

Donaldson was arrested and charged, according to case records, after he asked a fellow employee at an area McDonald's to hold onto a paper bag for him.

The McDonald's was in the general vicinity of where the murders took place, and records indicate the employee contacted police, reportedly upon seeing a gun in the bag.

Investigators say tests indicated that the gun was the same weapon used in the killings.

Authorities say they are still searching for a motive in the case.

Investigators say they have spoken with Donaldson's parents, and say they have been unwilling to cooperate in the investigation.

Officials said they would continue to try and seek information from the parents.

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