Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, the alleged serial killer in Tampa, Florida, appeared for the first time in court today since his arrest on Tuesday and Judge Margaret Taylor decided to remain in jail without bail at least until the hearing called for on 5 December.
The prosecution, which warned that the trial will request a death sentence, asked the judge not to grant bail to Donaldson because it represents a danger to the community.
Donaldson, who was wearing a quilted vest over his prison uniform to avoid self-harm, did not speak during the hearing, which was attended by some relatives of the four people who were victims of a serial killer between October 9 and November 14. in the Seminole Heights neighborhood.
The young man was arrested as a suspect in four murders in the first degree and the filing of formal charges against him must be made by the Prosecutor’s Office before a grand jury, according to the Tampa Bay Times on a date not yet set.
Florida State Attorney Andrew Warren hinted to reporters after the hearing that he is willing to seek the death penalty for Donaldson.
“The death penalty should be reserved for the worst of the worst and in general terms a serial killer would qualify,” Warren said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Judge Taylor called a hearing on December 5 to decide whether Donaldson will wait for the trial in jail or on bail.
The arrest of Donaldson, 24, was a relief for Tampa (on the east coast of Florida) and especially for the Seminole Heights neighborhood, whose streets were the scene of four murders of similar characteristics that terrorized the neighbors.
The victims, without connection to each other, were people who were alone in the street at night and received deadly shots.
A gun that Donaldson admitted buying in early October put the police on his track.
The bullet casings found in the places of the crimes coincide with the ammunition of that weapon, but also by the cell phone of the detainee it has been determined that he walked near the places where the murders took place and at the precise hours.
Also, according to the police arrest record, they were found in Donaldson’s car, which lately worked in a McDonald’s restaurant, clothes such as those described by a witness of one of the murders and those carried by a suspect captured by the cameras of security in the scene of another of the crimes.
A witness to the latest murder, which occurred on November 14 and was victimized by a unemployed 60-year-old Ronald Felton, described the murderer as an African-American man of 1.85 meters tall and thin build who wore all black and wielded a pistol, according to the information then provided by the Police.
The first victim was Benjamin Mitchell, 22, who was fatally shot by the killer on October 9 near a stop on bus line 9.
Two days later, although her body was not found until the 13th, Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32, was walking through the neighborhood to meet a friend when she received several shots that caused her death.
On October 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was looking for a bus stop when he was shot dead.