Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills man gets 90 years shooting father and daughter in 2011

Wheeler

Wheeler

DADE CITY — A man arrested in the 2011 shooting of a man and his 11-year-old daughter received a total of 90 years in prison after a jury convicted him this week.

Donnie Lee "Hoo" Wheeler, 47, was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder in the shooting that sent a bullet across the face and into the neck of the girl, who was in a truck with her father, Kenneth Criger, as they unwittingly drove another man to a drug deal at the home where Wheeler was staying at 8601 Old Lakeland Road.

"This isn't a case of whodunit," Assistant State Attorney Phil Matthey told jurors during his closing arguments. "This is a case of 'Hoo' did it."

Authorities said a neighbor asked Criger to drive another man to Wheeler's. He and his daughter were unaware of any drug deal.

When the truck arrived and no one came to the door, the man threw a brick at a window. Wheeler then emerged from the home and opened fire on the people outside.

One bullet fragmented on the truck and hit Criger in four places on his back. His daughter was shot in the jaw.

Both were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Matthey said the girl still bears a scar on her chin. She had to endure surgeries to remove part of the bullet that lodged in her neck.

A search of the home after Wheeler's arrest turned up a methamphetamine lab.

The jury convicted him on several charges related to the crime, including two counts of aggravated battery.

Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa sentenced Wheeler as a felony habitual offender with enhanced penalties based on his criminal record.

Zephyrhills man gets 90 years shooting father and daughter in 2011 04/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 8:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case

    Crime

    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.