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The Latest: the Parents of murder suspect to appear in court

TAMPA, Florida. – The Latest on the parents of a Florida man suspected in the death of four people to refuse to answer researchers ‘ questions (all times are local):

11:30 pm

A Florida judge says that the parents of a 24-year-old man suspected in a series of deadly shootings in the Tampa area need to “show” why they should not be held in civil contempt for refusing to answer investigators questions.

Judge Margaret Taylor on Thursday set a Jan. 5 hearing for Howell, Jr. and Rosita Donaldson. They refused on Tuesday to answer questions about their son, Howell Donaldson III, who now faces four counts of first-degree murder.

The family’s lawyer, Ralph Fernandez, told the judge that the parents are devastated, have not slept and do not want to answer questions from the prosecutors that are looking to “make a decision about the life or death of their son.”

Taylor said the state attorney’s office has the authority to sue for the parents, and ask them. She added that the Donaldsons can go to the attorney at any time before the court date, if they choose to answer the questions.

Their son was arrested Nov. 28.

The recordings, which started in the beginning of October, terrorized the Tampa area.

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7:20 pm

The parents of the 24-year-old man suspected in a series of deadly shootings in Florida district will go before the judge after they refused to answer investigator’s questions about their son.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that investigators wanted to question Howell Donaldson, Jr. and Rosita Donaldson on Tuesday about Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, the background, history, gun possession and state of mind. But they refused.

Attorney Andrew Warren called the rejection of a “rarity”. He says that most people understand that they have a duty to answer the questions. His office has asked the Hillsborough County Judge Margaret Taylor to consider whether they should be held in contempt. A hearing is set for 10 to Thursday.

The younger Donaldson faces four counts of first-degree murder in the seemingly random shooting spree. He was arrested Nov. 28.

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Information: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.

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