ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two major Bay Area cases are in court on Tuesday.
- Michael Drejka's manslaughter trial begins Aug. 19
- Howell Donaldson case
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The Michael Drejka case and the Howell Donaldson case.
Michael Drejka’s last pre-trial hearing is on Tuesday, ahead of his actual trial that starts next week. Drejka is accused of shooting and killing Markeis McGlockton over parking in a handicap space. He tried to use the “Stand Your Ground” defense.
Last week, a Judge allowed prosecutors to submit surveillance video of the incident as evidence in slow motion, and enhanced. Spectrum Bay News 9’s legal analyst, Kevin Hayslett, said this will be the most high profile case in Pinellas County in over 20 years.
“I expect in this case it’ll be a short presentation by the prosecution, sort of a shock and awe, a video, and compelling testimony with the defense trying to figure out whether they want to call Mr. Drejka to the stand. If they call their client to the stand, he’d be subjected to cross examination,” said Hayslett.
In Hillsborough County, Howell Donaldson’s disposition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. He became known as the “Seminole Heights Serial Killer” after police say he gunned down four random people in Fall 2017.
A judge recently reviewed some jail recordings between Donaldson and his parents. The defense doesn’t want the recordings to be allowed as evidence.
Hayslett said this case could be difficult since Donaldson will likely face the death penalty.
"The problem with the Donaldson case is at any time you have what purports to be a serial killer the community is upset and rightfully so," Hayslett said. "In this case there’s a lot of emotion, and the defense needs to separate the emotion from the fact."
Howell Donaldson III is accused of shooting and killing four people in the Seminole Heights area in 2017. He was arrested in late November that same year. (Spectrum News image)