breaking news

Palm Beach pastor linked to pedophile priest scandal

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.




Next Up in Local

Palm Beach pastor linked to pedophile priest scandal
Palm Beach pastor linked to pedophile priest scandal

The longtime pastor of a prominent Palm Beach church where the Kennedys, the late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and other luminaries have worshiped became entangled in the latest pedophile priest scandal that erupted this week in Pennsylvania. Monsignor Thomas Klinzing, pastor of the historic St. Edward Roman Catholic Church, was among church...
BREAKING: RV store employee wanted for torching rival Riviera business
BREAKING: RV store employee wanted for torching rival Riviera business

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and federal marshals are on the hunt for a serial arsonist who allegedly torched nearly $350,000 worth of RVs last week in Riviera Beach. A “wanted” poster released by the Florida Department of Financial Services on Thursday says that Benjamin Harris, 54, has an active warrant for 10...
BREAKING: One dead, one injured in Riviera Beach shooting
BREAKING: One dead, one injured in Riviera Beach shooting

One man is dead and another is injured after a shooting in Riviera Beach, city police said. A male suspect, who police said shot the two men, fled before officers arrived, according to police. The shooting occurred at about 4 p.m. at Stony Plaza, a shopping area in the 1600 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, near the Stonybrook Apartments....
NEW: Video-camera doorbells are latest crime-fighting tool
NEW: Video-camera doorbells are latest crime-fighting tool

From a high-profile Martin County murder case to a rash of burglaries in a St. Lucie County neighborhood, two Treasure Coast sheriffs are pointing to the increasing use of private video cameras in helping their agencies solve recent crimes.   Martin County Sheriff William Snyder and St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara on Thursday announced...
After losing court battle to 2 charters, school board wants another go
After losing court battle to 2 charters, school board wants another go

After years of fighting in court to stop two charter schools from opening, the Palm Beach County School Board wants to go another round. More than a year after losing their first appeal, board members voted unanimously Wednesday to file a second appeal of the state government’s decision that two charter schools should be allowed to open within...
More Stories