Suspected serial killer competent to stand trial, doctors say

- Three doctors have found Howell "Trai" Donaldson, III competent to stand trial.

The defense team for the suspected Seminole Heights serial killer did not object to the findings, which means the case goes forward.

Donaldson, 25, was arrested last fall for the murders of Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa, and Ronald Felton. The series of shootings kept the Tampa community on edge for weeks last fall until a co-worker’s tip led police to Donaldson.

One of the victims, Ronald Felton, was shot and killed while walking to a church to help feed the homeless.

His sister, Tina Felton was not surprised to hear the doctors' results.

"I felt like he was competent and sometimes people do go through things but not to that extent. I'm not going out and shooting somebody,“ said Felton. 

But she questions why the wheels of justice move so slowly.

"How long do we have to wait. It didn’t take us no time to bury my brother or the other family members," said Felton. 

Donaldson had already been evaluated by one doctor when the defense requested two additional assessments a month ago. All three evaluations were released Thursday morning – each doctor found Donaldson competent to go on trial, and his defense attorneys did not take issue with the findings.

Donaldson himself waived his right to appear in court for the hearing.  His defense team said they were still waiting on prosecutors to turn over some of the evidence for their review; the judge scheduled the next status update for October 30.

State attorney Andrew Warren is seeking the ultimate punishment.

“We made the decision to seek the death penalty in this case because there is no evidence and no history whatsoever of mental illness and the finding of the experts just corroborated that," said Warren.

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