Trials approach for accused murderers nabbed in state park
ELBA — Two Florida men who were arrested last fall in Whitewater State Park will probably go on trial for murder this summer in Suwanee County, Florida.
If James Lindsey Howze of Lake City, Fla., and Lonnie Robert Munn, who was believed to be living in Live Oak, Fla., are convicted, they could receive the death penalty. They will be tried separately.
They are accused of being involved in the execution-style shooting deaths on Aug. 26 of Joseph Militello Jr., 57; his wife, Nancy Militello, 68; and their nephew, Angelo Rosales, 32, at the Militellos' house in Suwannee County. They fled, and arrest warrants were issued.
On Sept. 1, one of them used an ATM at Mike's Foods in St. Charles, tipping off law enforcement that they were in the area. Later that day, a Winona County sheriff's deputy saw their truck in the park, which is about 30 miles east of Rochester. About 1:30 a.m. Sept. 2, the U.S. Marshal Service, Minnesota State Patrol and Winona County SWAT team members helped make the arrests. The men waived extradition and were returned to Florida.
Craig Jacobsen, a Florida state attorney, said getting a murder case to trial normally takes about a year. No court date has been set but the case will probably be tried in summer. In December, the state announced it will seek the death penalty, he said.
A third man allegedly involved with the murders hanged himself in his cell, he said.