Tampa judge keeps death penalty in accused Seminole Heights serial killer case

The accused Seminole Heights serial killer was back in court Thursday as his defense team argued to toss out the death penalty in the case. 

Howell Trae Donaldson's defense team argued the death penalty was unconstitutional. After a slough of arguments, the Tampa judge decided the death penalty will remain in the case. 

Donaldson's defense also wanted to keep out the testimony of Anthony Naiboa's parents, arguing Casimar Naiboa and Maria Rodriguez have been no-shows for scheduled depositions. The defense said they wanted the parents barred from testifying at trial. 

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Prosecutors fought that, arguing Anthony's parents are still coping with enormous loss. In Thursday's court appearance, the judge ordered Rodriguez and her husband to show up for the next scheduled deposition. 

Donaldson is accused of causing terror and panic in Seminole Heights back in Fall 2017. Prosecutors said he gunned down four people who were walking alone. The four victims included Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa, and Ronald Felton. 

Prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty after Donaldson was arrested and indicted by a grand jury.