Seminole Heights neighbors anxious, cautious after indictment of murder suspect

Residents of the neighborhood are anxious for the case to move forward to bring closure.

People living in Seminole Heights are still cautious, even after the indictment of murder suspect Howell Donaldson III.

With the case moving toward a trial, neighbors are anxious to see what happens.

“Hopefully they’ll get some answers that will help these families put this to rest,” said Deacon Johnny Daniels.

Daniels runs the food pantry at New Season Apostolic Ministries Church in Seminole Heights. It's where the fourth victim, Ronnie Felton, was headed to volunteer when he was shot and killed.

“People say I run the food pantry but as I’ve told many reporters, Ronnie really ran it,” Daniels said.

With Donaldson facing charges for the killings, many in Seminole Heights are breathing a sigh of relief. Business is improving.

“I’m extremely happy. I feel like everyone can have a little more peace of mind and settle back to their routines,” said Seminole Heights General Store owner Andrea Cawley.

The killings, however, have left many neighbors guarded.

“Their businesses are opening a little later and more of the community are out in the streets in the neighborhood, but they’re still being vigilant,” Daniels said. 

With Donaldson indicted on four counts of premeditated first-degree murder and his parents refusing the testify against their son, victim’s families want justice, and so do neighbors.

 “I feel for them too, but who knows what goes on in the mind of a serial psycho killer,” said Bill Mentkow.     

While many feel for the parents, neighbors say it’s their responsibility to testify. 

“You have to do what’s right, not just for him but for the families involved. Do the right thing,” Daniels said.

Neighbors, in a sense, are also victims. A community held hostage by these murders, not only impacting businesses but also their everyday lives. As the families of four victims grieve, the community is standing united.

They are hopeful that whatever the outcome is, these families will get closure.

“Praying for the families who lost loved ones is crucial because they are the ones who are really going to need support,” Cawley said.

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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