Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

High school principal's accused stalker to stand trial in September

Tracey Seenath

Tracey Seenath, 40

TAMPA — Tracey Seenath, the Hillsborough County schools clerk accused of stalking a former high school principal and his wife, is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 8.

The date comes almost a year after she was arrested and charged with felony stalking, based on thousands of emails and calls to former Freedom High School principal David Sheppard after the two ended a personal relationship.

While Sheppard was listed as the only victim in the court case, the state attorney's office later added a second count of misdemeanor stalking against his wife, Donna Sheppard.

The investigation revealed Sheppard was involved with Seenath while he was one of her supervisors at Wharton High School. He later moved to Freedom, where he stepped down as principal Oct. 24. Five days later, Donna Sheppard drowned at their Lutz home in what was ruled a suicide.

The stalking case was continued several times this year, and the state made a sentencing offer that would include five years probation. But in court Tuesday Seenath's new lawyer, Jo Ann Palchak, told Judge Tom Barber she needs time to prepare the case.

Seenath, 40, is on unpaid suspension as a property control clerk for the school district pending resolution of the case. Sheppard now teaches science at Gaither High School.

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