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Feb 16, 12:20 PM EST

Parents of Florida murder suspect placed on house arrest

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The parents of a suspect in the random shooting deaths of four people have showed up late for a civil contempt hearing in Florida and have been placed on house arrest after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors.

Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe ordered the confinement of Howell Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson on Friday. Their 24-year-old son, Howell Donaldson III, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the October and November shootings of four people in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood.

Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner said Florida law doesn't give parents privilege against testifying against a child. The Tampa Bay Times reports he suggested home confinement as an alternative to jail.

Their son is facing the death penalty.

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