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JUST IN: Man accused of cyberstalking Palm Beach County judge


A Hollywood man is accused of cyberstalking a Palm Beach County judge who was presiding over his case — a case in which he was accused of stalking two other people, court records show.

David Arthur Lerner, 36, faces one count of aggravated cyberstalking. Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Dina Keever-Agrama this week ordered that Lerner have a mental-health evaluation before she ruled on his bond amount. Keever-Agrama also ordered that Lerner not have weapons or any contact with Judge Howard K. Coates Jr., the judge Lerner is accused of stalking.

On Friday, Judge Mark Eissey set Lerner’s bond at $50,000 and placed him on house arrest during a brief hearing at the county jail.

According to the report, the case was first brought to law enforcement’s attention when an email was sent to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Oct. 13, in which Lerner wished to speak about Coates, who was named a circuit judge in December 2014.

“Something needs to happen and there needs to be an intervention here as this situation is about to blow up and someone could get hurt or killed,” Lerner wrote in an email to Bondi. “I will repeat that to hopefully get your radar (again), this situation could BLOW UP OR SOMEONE COULD GET HURT.”

In July, Lerner appeared before Coates for a stalking case. Coates granted two injunctions against Lerner, who then appealed the ruling. The details about those cyberstalking cases were not immediately available. Although the case was now out of Coates’ hands, authorities say Lerner began filing motions “that were of no legal merit” within the case against Coates, according to the report such as:

“Motion to Baker Act The honorable Judge Howard K. Coates Jr.”; “Motion to impeach/permanently de-bench ‘Criminal Coates’ “; Motion “to arrest criminal ‘judge’ Howard K Coates: Corrupt, fake, wannabe, amateur, imbecile, jackass, clown, disgraceful, ‘judge’ 15 the judicial circuit.”

In those motions, investigators say he wrote to the judge that he had “no one to blame but yourself and you can make this stop at any time. Do the right thing for your family” as well as “YOU ARE MINE FOREVER.”

In another motion on Oct. 30, he files a notice of citizen’s arrest, but then in the notice states, “he was going to read up on the law about arresting Judge Coates himself,” the report states.

The sheriff’s office said they started adding additional patrols to Coates’s neighborhood as a precaution.

After the court filings, Lerner then sent several emails to Coates, saying he was looking forward to his next court date on what would have been Tuesday. Another email said “there will be absolute hell to pay and heads will roll.”

Lerner was arrested at the South County courthouse in Delray Beach on Tuesday, when he was set to argue his motions before Judge Jaimie Goodman.



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