Parents of Seminole Heights Murder Suspect in Court

Rosita and Howell Donaldson Jr. will have to return to court next month to explain to the judge why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court for not answering prosecutors' questions about their son.  

Howell "Trai" Donaldson III is charged with murdering four people in Seminole Heights this fall.  

During Thursday's hearing, Prosecutor Jay Pruner told Judge Margaret Taylor the Donaldson's did respond to a subpoena to provide information to investigators--information such as whether their son knew someone in Seminole Heights or if he had mental health issues.  The Donaldsons refused to answser those questions, and Pruner says the Donaldson's don't have the legal priviledge to do that. 

 But their attorney, Ralph Fernandez, said his clients shouldn't be compelled to answer questions that would potentially lead to the execution of their son.  He said the Donaldsons are devastated, can't sleep or function, have received death threats and have considered leaving the area.

Judge Taylor said this is a fast-moving case without a lot of case law and has ordered the Donaldsons to return to her courtroom January 5th.

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