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Detectives Charge Man for Stabbing and Arson

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 23-109



Detectives Charge Man for Stabbing and Arson

A man is facing charges after stabbing and lighting another man on fire.

On July 19, 2023, just before 5:30 p.m., the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office responded to the 10,000 block of Banfield Drive in reference to a fire call.

Deputies and fire crews located an adult male with upper body trauma and severe burns. The man was transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.

Detectives learned the victim had been stabbed and quickly worked to identify a suspect, Donnie Adams, 53. Adams left the scene before emergency crews and law enforcement arrived, stating he was going to commit suicide.

At approximately 6 p.m., he was located in Manatee County. Adams turned onto the Skyway Bridge, stopped at the south end, exited the vehicle and entered the water.

Deputies spoke with Adams for several minutes, encouraging him to come out of the water. Ultimately, deputies went into the water and helped carry Adams out. Adams also sustained severe burns that appeared to be self-inflicted and was transported to a local hospital.

“The efforts of our deputies to engage with the suspect saved his life despite the severity of his injuries,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Our commitment to preserving life, even in the face of such a horrific crime, demonstrates the values we uphold at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. We will work tirelessly alongside the State Attorney’s Office to ensure that justice is served and our community remains safe from such senseless acts of violence.”

Adams remains in custody at a local hospital. An arrest warrant was issued for him for Pre-Meditated First Degree Murder and Arson. The investigation is ongoing. Any updates will be provided by the Public Affairs Office.