TAMPA, Fla. - Not guilty. That’s the official plea from the man prosecutors say killed four people and terrorized the neighborhood of Seminole Heights.
But Howell Donaldson, III’s plea came in writing instead of in person.
The 24-year old, known to his friends as family as Trai, did not show up in court for his arraignment Tuesday.
Gloria Felton showed up to court. She's the sister-in-law of Donaldson's alleged last victim - Ronald Felton.
But Gloria's husband, Ronald's brother said he just couldn't bear it.
"It's draining and it's taken a big toll on my husband and his brother," said Gloria.
Tuesday morning, the man accused in Ronald's shooting death, as well as three other murders, entered a written plea of not guilty. His attorneys waived his appearance.
"Would like to see him. I really would like to see his face," Gloria told FOX 13 News.
For weeks, the Seminole Heights area was gripped with fear while police searched for a serial killer.
Within that time, four innocent people were gunned down: Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton.
After his arrest, Donaldson's parents offered condolences to the families, but they have remained loyal to their son.
"We love him we support him," said Rosita Donaldson.
Rosita and Howell Donaldson, Jr. now risk going to jail because they refuse to answer prosecutors' questions regarding their son.
Monica Hoffa's family, meanwhile, says they are just trying to cope with their new reality.
Her cousin, Yury Gutierrez said, "Thanksgiving, Christmas, it's been very difficult not having her there with us and right now it's the time for us to unite as a family and remember her and remember the good times with her and prepare emotionally for whats coming."