TAMPA Investigators had questions for the parents of Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, the suspect in four Seminole Heights killings.
The state wants answers to questions like if 24-year-old Donaldson suffered from mental health issues or if he was under psychiatric care prior to the murders, but Rosita and Howell Junior are not talking.
State Attorney Andrew Warren called the refusal a "rarity". He says most people understand they have a duty to answer questions. "And when that duty is explained to them by a judge, they're willing to provide us answers". His office has asked Hillsborough County Judge Margaret Taylor to consider whether they should be held in contempt.
If the parents do say anything it will be a statement, in part saying, "our lives were flawless until November the 28".
"Mr. Donaldsons refusal to testify. despite having received a court- authorized subpoena, constitutes indirect criminal contempt of this Honorable Court", Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner wrote in a motion filed Wednesday in a motion that names the father.
"Were trying to ask a broader question as to why a question that the victims families and the community deserves to have answered", he said.
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"No", she said. "With all due respect, I'm not answering any more questions".
It comes after prosecutors said the couple refused to cooperate with the investigation into their son's past.
"We are taking every investigative avenue and using every investigative tool at our disposal to build as a strong a case as possible to hold the defendant accountable for his crimes", Warren said.
Unlike some states, Florida has no law establishing "parent-child privilege", which would keep communications between them confidential.
The coworker then notified a Tampa Police officer, leading to Donaldson's arrest.
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