Attorney: Parents of Seminole Heights serial murder suspect ‘heartbroken’

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Prominent Tampa attorney Ralph Fernandez is representing the parents of accused serial killer Howell Donaldson III.

He tells News Channel 8 that they are heartbroken over the news of their son’s arrest and their hearts go out to everyone involved, from the victims’ families, to the law enforcement officers to the entire Seminole Heights community.

Still, he says, they support their son.

“It’s sad, it’s taxing, it’s a combination of just about everything rough you can imagine. They support their son, they love their son. At the same time they extend their condolences to everyone,” said Fernandez on their behalf.

They have not seen Howell Donaldson since he was arrested late Tuesday. They hope to see him at his next court appearance on Tuesday Dec. 5.

RELATED: Suspected serial killer tells police he was unfamiliar with Seminole Heights neighborhood

Attorney Ralph Fernandez says the suspect’s parents have gone into hiding as they work to process all of the information.

They say they had no clue their son was the suspect in the four murders.

“They are law abiding citizens, somewhat of a model family with a lot of love and respect in the community,’ said Fernandez. “That’s what makes this so difficult. So, so difficult.”

Fernandez hopes to have a news conference today to release more information.

For now, he is assembling a team of attorneys to possibly represent Donaldson. Right now, Donaldson III is represented by a public defender.

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