TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Hillsborough County judge will allow a psychologist to evaluate the mental state of accused Seminole Heights serial killer Howell Donaldson III.
Judge Mark Wolfe made the ruling Wednesday morning.
Donaldson is accused of brutally murdering four people in the Seminole Heights neighborhood last fall.
If Donaldson is found incompetent, he could be sent to the state hospital which would delay the case for at least six months.
Donaldson was in court for the hearing on Wednesday morning. His head has been shaved and he was wearing handcuffs and an orange jail jumpsuit. Donaldson’s parents were also in court.
Attorneys asked the court to appoint psychologist Richard Carpenter to evaluate Donaldson’s mental state and whether or not he can proceed in a trial. Judge Mark Wolfe approved the request.
Donaldson appeared to give his parents a small smile before being escorted out of the courtroom.
Donaldson and parents mouthed “I love you” to each other before he was escorted out.
State Attorney Andrew Warren says he is seeking the death penalty for all four victims in the case.
MORE ON THE SEMINOLE HEIGHTS MURDERS-
- Attorney: Parents of Seminole Heights serial murder suspect ‘heartbroken’
- Suspected serial killer tells police he was unfamiliar with Seminole Heights neighborhood
- Arrest of Seminole Heights murder suspect stuns his friends and neighbors
- Victims’ families relieved over arrest in Seminole Heights murder case
- Terror in Seminole Heights: Timeline of the 51-day manhunt and how it came to an end
- Seminole Heights murder suspect Howell Donaldson transported to jail