Trial date set for accused Seminole Heights killer

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe set the date at a Tuesday hearing. The trial would begin Aug. 10, 2020.
Two unidentified Hillsborough County Sheriff bailiff’s lead Howell Donaldson III, the accused Seminole Heights killer, into a Tampa courtroom in 2018. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]
Two unidentified Hillsborough County Sheriff bailiff’s lead Howell Donaldson III, the accused Seminole Heights killer, into a Tampa courtroom in 2018. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA | Times]
Published August 13

TAMPA — Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, the accused Seminole Heights killer, is set to go to trial in just under a year.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe set a tentative Aug. 10, 2020 date at a hearing Tuesday.

Donaldson is accused of fatally shooting four people in Tampa’s southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood in October and November 2017. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Public Defender Julianne Holt told the judge a trial date in 2020 seems unrealistic.

“We still have over 200 depositions to take,” Holt said. Her office is representing the 26-year-old Donaldson.

Wolfe acknowledged Holt’s concerns, but still decided to set a date to keep the case moving forward.

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Contact Sam Ogozalek at sogozalek@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3430. Follow @SamOgozalek.

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