The Holmes Report: BSO Explains How It Happened

It's a grim thought, but you have to wonder how close Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes may have come to getting shot on Easter Sunday. 

Broward sheriff's deputies surrounded Holmes' sister house in Deerfield Beach with guns drawn, believing that the house was being burglarized. They had the wrong house but they didn't know that until after Holmes exited the residence with a gun in her hand at about 8:20 p.m. on the April 24. 

holmesilona.jpg
Holmes
​"I'm Judge Holmes, I'm Judge Holmes, I'm Judge Holmes," deputies reported she kept repeating. 

Then she said, "I'm armed." 

Deputies told her to put the gun -- a silver revolver -- down. She didn't do it. They repeated it several times before she finally did as she was told. Then she reached for the gun again, according to one deputy's account. The Holmes family says the judge was only putting down a cell phone, but there is no mention of a cell phone in any of the BSO reports regarding the incident.

When they asked her to get down on the ground, she said that she had a bad back and later told a deputy they would have had to "shoot her" before she was going to sit on the ground.

Later when they tried to get information from the judge, she cut off the interview, telling a deputy that she was "soaking her feet" and couldn't be bothered.  

Those that know Holmes -- a criminal judge who sources say recently asked to be recused from BSO-related cases because she can't be impartial regarding the agency after the Easter incident -- chalk it up this way: "That's Judge Holmes." 

Holmes, a former chief criminal judge who filled the spot after former Judge Ana Gardiner was transferred to civil, is known as a smart and fine jurist, but one with a very wide cantankerous streak. One piece of courthouse legend is that she for months refused to speak with Chief John Palmer, BSO's former courthouse supervisor, because she was upset that her friend, BSO Commander Alvin Pollack, wasn't placed in the top position. 

"It's her way or no way," one sitting judge told me, with what seemed equal parts frustration, consternation, and admiration. 

Inside, read excerpts from the reports written by the deputies who were there during the incident.
The BSO reports regarding the incident show that it all began when a neighbor, believing a nearby house was being burglarized, called deputies. The neighbor, whom I'm not going to name, also warned Holmes' family that there might be a burglary in progress in the house next door. 

When Dep. Leonard Seedig arrived on the scene he wrote that the neighbor pointed him toward the house. Either the neighbor was confused about which house it was or Seedig mistakenly believed she was pointing at the house that was then occupied by Holmes and her sister's family. 

As deputies formed a perimeter around the house, Seedig looked through the kitchen window to see Holmes' sister's husband, Neville Scarlett, who he wrote "appeared to be doing dishes." 

Seedig said he asked the neighbor if there was a tenant in the house. The neighbor repeated that the house was supposed to be empty. He also wrote that the neighbor again pointed at the correct house -- only he didn't realize that she was pointing at the house next door. 

It's clear Seedig wasn't pleased that the neighbor failed to notify him they were standing outside the wrong house. "[The neighbor] was in and out of her residence as this was going on and never alerted deputies that the house that police was surrounding was the wrong house," he wrote. "Deputies were on scene for 17 minutes without [the neighbor] alerting Deputies ...."

As the stood outside the wrong house, Seedig noticed that the outside light was turned on and off and a window was closed with the blinds put down. For him this was confirmation that it was the right house because the neighbor had said her suspicion was sparked by the lights being turned on and off at the house in question. "These actions confirmed that we were at the right house," Seedig wrote.

Why anyone would believe that a burglar would be doing dishes in an empty house on Easter Sunday isn't explained.

Seedig and another deputy approached a side door with guns drawn, knocked on the door, and announced they were with the sheriff's office. 

"I then observed [Holmes' sister, Carmita Scarlett] thru the kitchen window," Seedig wrote. "Upon seeing her I told her to come to the door and come outside. During this time I had my weapon pointed at SCARLETT, CARMITA." 

He ordered everyone to come out with their hands up. Carmita Scarlett was followed out of the house by Judge Holmes, whom Seedig wrote, "kept repeating 'I'm Judge Holmes, I'm Judge Holmes, I'm Judge Holmes.'" 

Seedig continued: "She also stated, 'I'm armed.' HOLMES, ILONA exited the residence with a revolver in her hand. She was told several times to put the gun down, which she finally did."

Deputy J. Morrisroe wrote that Holmes, whom he described as wearing an "orange outfit," then reached for the gun while it was on the ground. 

"I along with other deputies ordered her not to touch the weapon," Morrisroe wrote. "She then put her hands on her head and began stating, 'Do you know who I am? I am a judge. I am Judge Holmes.' She even began raising her voice above the deputies as they spoke to her." 

Deputy Ira Marrich, who said at least three commands had been made for her to put the gun down before she complied, reached down to get the weapon. "After securing the gun, I looked up and recognized the female to be Judge Holmes," Marrich wrote in his account of the incident. 

Seedig then told everyone from the house to get on the ground. "HOLMES, ILONA stated that she could not because she had a bad back," he wrote. "None of the residence [sic] complied with police. ... They appeared very upset that police had pointed weapons at them." 

It was only then that deputies realized they had the wrong house and they quickly determined that the house hadn't been burglarized either. 

Seedig later asked Holmes why she exited the house with a gun in her hand. He apparently spoke to her from outside the home while she sat inside the residence. The interview was concluded when Holmes told Seedig that she was soaking her feet and "now was not a good time" to talk. But prior to that, he did get some answers from her. 

"She stated that she did not know if deputies were who we said we were or burglars," he wrote. "She also stated that she felt that had she not been there police would have mistreated her family. She also stated, 'There was no way I was going to sit on the ground. You'd have to shoot me to sit on the ground tonight." 

That's Judge Holmes. 

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Paul Gardner
Paul Gardner

Whether the officers were right or wrong, it's better to comply and then argue latter after everyone has been properly identified.

I think with multiple deputies (presumably in uniform) at the residence, the likelihood of the "Deputies" being "Burglars" is far less. Without being FROM that area and not knowing what Judge Holmes is like, I still think she thought that she was above compliance because she is a judge.

PlayItAgainSam
PlayItAgainSam

Cross-post-The White House announced Osama Bin Laden is dead, his body is in US hands. This will unravel the assault.

Yogirl
Yogirl

I love Judge Holmes. She always looks good and dresses nicely. Gettem judge! I wish Judge Judy were there too. She NEVER would put the gun down. On and popping!

Sam
Sam

Police were not clear on the address, the home was pointed out by a neighbor. And yes, if police showed up at my home and started pointing guns and asking me to sit on the ground, I would be upset.

However, I would not come out with a gun in my hand (and yes I do own a gun) as the cops would interpret same as threatening and there is a good chance I would get shot, tazed or taken to the ground with force. Waving a gun at a cop is a bad idea regardless of whether you are a judge or not.

Cops do have a difficult job and the first step when encountering an unknown situation is to secure it, that makes sense.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

There is blame to go around... The question I would ask is... Was the identity of the police immediately known? Proper procedure would be to park down the street (so no marked car) take cover (not visible) the other thought is were these guys in uniform not just t shirts and bdu's?

If I can't sit in my home (or my sister's) where can I sit?

Everyone is saying Judge Holmes needs to see it from the police side (which she does) but I think the police need to see it from the Judge's side.

I promise you the police would not like to be treated that way in their homes.

Not everyone in a "black" (the police euphamism for black is busy) neighbprhood is a criminal. This happens all to often with high profile black professionals. Think the case of the black college professor who was arrested at his own house by the white cop. I can go on and on.

DB Floyd
DB Floyd

Do any of you people that are defending the cops actions even stop to think about your argument before you type?

BSO SURROUNDED THE WRONG HOUSE!!!

Do you guys understand how simple of a mistake this is to correct? If the deputies at the scene followed their own protocols, they would have CONFIRMED that they were surrounding the right house with the neighbor, rather than ASSUME, and none of this nonsense would have occurred.

BSO needs to do a better job training their officers, or send them packing. There are few greater threats we face these days that IDIOTS with guns. Doesn't matter if they are wearing a badge or not.

skydove
skydove

Nobody else has mentioned this, so maybe it's just me, but I can't get away from thinking that if a black man with a gun had emerged from that house and repeatedly declined to surrender the weapon, the story might have had a much worse ending. Judge or no judge, it seems not impossible that Ilona Holmes is alive today because the deputies were so taken aback at seeing a woman with a little handgun confronting a force that outnumbered her that they played for time: that is, went by the book and kept asking her to put down the gun until, fortunately, someone recognized her. Whether Judge Holmes was aware that the men were LE is immaterial. The deputies saw something that didn't make sense to them and they proceeded with caution. Better late than never.

glass slipper
glass slipper

How come Obamas birth certificate list his fathers race as African?

Nobody in the whole world ever used the designation of African to describe someones race.

Could this be a feeble attempt of a forged birth certificate?

By Wayne Madsen4-28-11 World intelligence agencies: Obama's long form birth certificate a rank forgery From intelligence agencies around the world, the verdict on President Obama's newly-released certificate of live birth from Hawaii is in: the certificate is a rank forgery on the same level as the Niger "yellow cake" uranium and Iraq Oil Ministry forged documents. Intelligence and law enforcement services are experts on fake documents since they have to deal with large numbers of counterfeit documents, such as birth certificates, passports, identity cards and driver's licenses, as well as currency. Intelligence agencies are also experts at forging their own documents for their clandestine agents. Within 24-hours of the release of the long form Certificate of Live Birth on April 27, intelligence agencies from Britain and China to Germany and Russia examined the document and concluded it was a forgery based on the fact that Barack H. Obama Sr.'s race, listed as "African," was a monumental error, considering that not only the United States, but other English-speaking nations described Africans and those of African descent as either "Negroes" or "blacks" in 1961.

Intelligence experts point out that "African" is a major clue indicating a forgery. In 1961, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare classified non-Whites, who were not Asian, Eskimo, Aleut, Hawaiian, part-Hawaiian, or other "non-White," as "Negro." The U.S. Census Bureau also used the term "Asian and other Pacific Islander" in 1961, which included Filipino, Hawaiian, and part-Hawaiian. The Census Bureau, like HEW, used the term "Negro" to describe blacks and those of black descent. The term "mulatto," used to describe those of mixed white and black ancestry, ceased being used by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1918.

Kittyryan
Kittyryan

... following the thought that the president by law has to be born on American soil;Hypothetically speaking, what if something, God forbid, terrible should happen to say the first 4 people in line from the the oval office after the president, and the next one in line in the cabinet is not a natural born citizen of the USA? Would that person be passed by?

Are all the cabinet members and others who are in line of succession are required to fit the requirement to become President? Over 35 & proof of citizenship?

Eduardo Especial
Eduardo Especial

I dunno, but the last thing I would be carrying when coming out of a house surrounded by BSO deputies is a gun.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Were the deputies in uniform? Or were they wearing their "tactical" uniform that anyone can buy? If the cops were being "tactical" they were behind cover, therefore not fully visable, therefore their identity would be uncertain.

I am resisting the urge to MMQ so even if what they did on scene was within policy, they should have apologized profusely on-scene.

This probably wouldn't happen in LHP, IP, Coral Ridge, Bayview, Weston, etc....

Snoop-dawg
Snoop-dawg

"This probably wouldn't happen in LHP, IP, Coral Ridge, Bayview, Weston, etc.... "

You're right, because they crack-head who called it in doesn't live in those areas, and people who do live there know how to point to a house without the DT's/crack tremors messin' up dey pointin' finga...

glass slipper
glass slipper

These cops are silly.

Once I was walking my dog and let her off the leash for a few minutes to take a dump and this broward deputy dog drove across a median, and smashing his oil pan in the process, to annouce over his loudspeaker to put my dog on the leash.

Then his backup showed up and they kept there for about 20 minutes as they "investigated" the scene. I hope he stepped in in dog shit but I sure would have liked to have been there when he had to explain his banged up oil pan.

Mike
Mike

We are all lucky that shots were not fired.

Wrong! She is lucky that shots were not fired!

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Wrong! Everyone is lucky shots weren't fired.

If shots were fired she'd most likely be injured /dead... A deputy may be injured/dead. The deps that were on scene would be facing the end of their career/freedom. If a cop gets charged for vehicular homicide for speeding to a routine back up, I cacont imagine what would happen if cops shot a judge who was at her sister's house not violating any law and the only people armed who weren't supposed to be there were the police.

Miriam Oliphant
Miriam Oliphant

Blame it all on Judge Elitist Holmes.When to police have the right to enter a Home?When they have a search warrant or they are pursuing a felon.When do they have the right to point a gun at someone?When there life is in danger or when someone elses life is in danger.Assuming that they chased a burglar into the house do they have the right to kill him? NO

KennyPowersSays
KennyPowersSays

How would you like to live next door to those meddling neighbors?

BTW Pulp, is the Nicole Sandler/Allen West Town Hall meeting fiasco a non event for the New Times?

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

Holmes made an elementary mistake in coming out with the gun but I would like to ask Deputy Seedig how many burglars he has seen washing the dishes of the house they are robbing. Maybe he thought the suspect wanted to make a clean getaway. No doubt in future at the Broward Police Academy trainees will be instructed to tell suspects to "put down the Palmolive and step away from the sink."

Johnson
Johnson

Thanks for that insight Doug. See you in Court later today?

Guest
Guest

Very funny Nucky!

Ed Foley
Ed Foley

It seems odd how often this happens in black neighborhoods. When was the last time cops did this in LHP, Coral Ridge, Weston or Imperial Point. Clearly BSO didn't bother to check the address given for the burglary to find out the address they were supposed to visit did not exist.The commander of this raid should be terminated immediately and his certification removed and pension pulled. But that's just the opinion of an objective observer.

PlayItAgainSam
PlayItAgainSam

A side note - Judge Holmes sentenced former Town of Davie Administrator Chris Kovanes for public corruption and embezzling Town funds.

This was Easter Sunday at the time this family was finishing up their holiday dinner together.BSO had the wrong house. BSO saw them cleaning their Easter Dinner dishes in the kitchen.BSO made the entire family come out and sit on the lawn.

With due respect to all - considering law enforcement officers have been attacked in the recent past and are cautious about their own safety and the safety of others, Judge Holmes advised them who she was and told them she was armed. An officer recognized her as a judge in Broward Co.

There is "something wrong with this picture". What is it?

Guest
Guest

Mistakes like this do happen. The police do have to check them out. Right?They called everyone out, why would the Judge bring her gun? Why couldn't she just explain that this was a home owned by her sister and husband, that they were enjoying the holiday. They recognized her and she and they should have done everything to co-operate with the officers. I feel then and there the matter would have been cleared. She did not handle her self properly. She was arrogant and again I say her actions componded the situation. They wanted to speak to her and she tells them she's soaking her feet? She may be the Queen in the Courtroom, but in the real world she's a citizen just like you and me. If the police come to your door with guns drawn, cool heads and explanations are definitely necessary.

unowho
unowho

Judges make enemies everday,and from what Ive heard she is a tough judge so call it paranoia or self preservation but she certainly was on her guard.The last thing she expected is a cop looking through her kitchen window..The fault lies on the commander and the person who pointed out the house to correct the situation immediately.The house was surrounded more carefull observation would have saved a lot of embarrassment.If there would have been a burglar inside he has to come out with the goods in hand which is the best time to catch him off guard!!!

unowho
unowho

I would like to know how many vehicles were parked in front of the judges home compared to the house next door that was being burglarized .Most burglars break into unocupied homes when the owners are away.And did BSO check the other house to see if it was broken into.hmmm???Sometimes common sense is overpowered by tunnel vision because of the recent police killings that is on every cops mind in these intense situations!!!

Paul Castellano
Paul Castellano

Apparently we had another “Take Your Kid to Work Day.” Maybe the Sheriff’s son got a new lesson about law enforcement as his father dealt with some recent issues. Young Nick already learned how to get major freebies like attending the Super Bowl while his father and staff orchestrated a criminal scam and cover up with all other local and federal agencies. He learned first hand how to proudly wear false credentials and surely was coached on what to say and not to say to his school chums when they ask about all the publicity. That was a great lesson for the up and coming teen LEO. Today, he may have picked up some pointers on how to avoid any responsibility to respond to questionable situations such as occurred to a Circuit Court judge at the hands of some error prone deputies. And the other day Nick learned that it is apparently OK for an off-duty SW Ranches sergeant to give special attention to a VIP football player wounded in a domestic violence felony stabbing. Maybe the supervisor In question gets a few favors in return so Nick learns about how “one hand washes the other.” And a most important part of his education concerns the steroids mess. His daddy surely explained how you must always take care of your friends even when they commit felonies and the proof is there to read. I can hear Nick telling his mother, “Don’t worry Mom - Dad made sure that cousin Jim Gibson won’t get charged with anything. And he said that part of being a sheriff is to always destroy anybody who is doing honest work by exposing crimes and corruption. Boy are they suckers. That woman detective is toast now! Dad learned from the best and now I am learning, too.

DeadBumFarto
DeadBumFarto

Your house is surrounded by cops, and you walk out armed to use your best Henry Lewis Gates imitation?

One has to question the comedic timing of the event. Here is Flip Wilson doing it right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

CSMcDonald
CSMcDonald

Gosh, the residents of their own home ordered out by the police at gunpoint were upset that they had guns pointed at them?

What a shock and surprise. I mean police should be able to just blast down doors of any family when they go to the wrong address and expect total cringing compliance.

pah.

Guest
Guest

A very unfortunate mistake was made to say the least. She identified herself, but she also came out with a gun and didn't immediately obey the officers.. In my opinion she compounded the situation by her actions until the matter could have been cleared up and what's with her soaking her feet line? She is a Judge yes, but above the law no. She didn't handle herself properly.

DeadBumFarto
DeadBumFarto

ATG,

I am violating my own "no-typing-after-first-glass rule" to disagree with you. Your logic is sound if saying "I am Judge Holmes," constitutes identifying yourself and if walking out of your house and announcing to cops "I am armed," constitutes reasoned judgment. Were there errors made by both sides in both action and judgment? Yes, there were, but I ask you to consider which party made errors in both action and judgment?

Everyone went home alive. Was it a really bad "Easter-at-the-Office?" Yep. What persons, the Holmes or BSO made decisions that lead to a safe outcome for all? By no means am I an apologist for the police, but this one is a no-brainer.

What I see here is a lack of considered judgment and constraint, and not on the part of the BSO.

Guest
Guest

My Dear Dead Bum.....You have me confused. I'm agreeing with you. Where in my comments do you disagree?As I said.. She did NOT act properly under this tense situation. Had she done so, I feel a bad mistake would had been straightend out and with an apology.

unowho
unowho

Glitz BSO dont apoligize, I think because it admits guilt ...

unowho
unowho

Ask Parkland Man he knows plenty of great Lawyers

DeadBumFarto
DeadBumFarto

The Third-glass-rule-is-now-in-effect: I'd like to speak to my attorney.

Parkland man
Parkland man

Thinking a little more about it,it goes to show you what a PAC of ah lawyers and these judges are,she should be suspended right away for that action she has taken against police officers,and at the same time playing the race card,disbar this pos and other judges should learn a lesson from this you want respect in your court room,have the same respect for police.these fn judges think there above the law and there not and she showed very bad taste and showed her family what not to do if that should ever happen again,get rid of her.

Parkland man
Parkland man

What a fn ah she is I wished she got her wish don't walk around and think because your a judge or a lawyer that your above the law,it should be the other way around she should have had more respect for police that has had a very bad year with getting shot from scumbags,and is she raising her chest and saying they would have mistreated her family,why because she's black,all that bullshit went out the window when we got a black president,she should be disbared and kicked off the bench for acting like an asshole,your a judge act like one,if your a fn asshole you should be treated like one.she should have showed her family how to have respect for the law,just another ah lawyer.

Doucheland man
Doucheland man

What a fn ah she is I wished she got her wish don't walk around and think because your a Parkland man that your above the law,it should be the other way around she should have had more respect for police that has had a very bad year with getting shot from scumbags,and is she raising her chest and saying they would have mistreated her family,why because she's black,all that bullshit went out the window when we got a black president,she should be disbared and kicked off the bench for acting like an asshole,your a Parkland man act like one,if your a fn asshole you should be treated like one.she should have showed her family how to have respect for the law,just another ah Parkland man.

Parkland man
Parkland man

She should have been shot when a cop says drop you gun you listen,what every they say you listen until they know who you are,it don't matter who you are you can be the sheriff and that don't matter,until they see you and know what's going just listen to them don't flex your muscles,you could get killed and if you have nothing to worry about it no big deal,but here's a fn judge that's a lawyer and all lawyers are assholes and fn thieves they have no regard for anyone or anything she's very lucky to be alive,and if the cop shot and killed her he would have been justified.I'm shocked she didn't get shot.

Iamafake
Iamafake

Bullshite. Time to start shooting back at the police.

Parkland man
Parkland man

People are already doing that u fn ah that's why the judge should have been a little smarter then that,I can see your an ah and will spend a lot of your life in prison you jerkoff

SGT
SGT

Pkease remove this comment from lamalooser please.

Doucheland man
Doucheland man

She should have been shot when a cop says drop you gun you listen,what every they say you listen until they know who you are,it don't matter who you are you can be the sheriff and that don't matter,until they see you and know what's going just listen to them don't flex your muscles,you could get killed and if you have nothing to worry about it no big deal,but here's a fn man that's a Parkland man and all Parkland men are assholes and fn thieves they have no regard for anyone or anything she's very lucky to be alive,and if the cop shot and killed her he would have been justified.I'm shocked she didn't get shot.

Suckers
Suckers

The problem is that I don't believe anything those lying cops state in the report. Its all bullshit cover your ass.Why state the Judge was dressed in Orange. Like she was an escaped prisoner. Get real. That is so over the top.Why point you gun at Scarlet did Scarlet have a gun. Was your life threatened by Scarlet.

Maybe get those Assholes, Wheeler and Benjamin to investigate. If there is corruption at the top there is corruption at the bottom. Because shit rolls down hill.

Ima Judge Ur Not
Ima Judge Ur Not

This Judge Holmes sounds like an elitist. She thinks she's entitled to special treatment because she's Judge Holmes. A little to arrogant for my taste.

Christy
Christy

I am a doctor....

I am a lawyer....I am a Judge.... I am a Police officer....

Many Expect Special Treatment

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

Judge Holmes is NOT an elitist. She is an excellent jurist, an outstanding woman, and entitled to be secure in her own, or her relative's home. I am sure that there will be people responding to this article who question her actions, her motives, and her behavior. As a woman who is armed in her own home, I understand Judge Holmes' actions. We are all lucky that shots were not fired. I would have expected, by now, that the Sheriff and the Judge would have met to address this incident. This should not be a "power" moment for either of them. The consequences of, "I'm the good guy and you're wrong," could have been fatal. In addition, this incident could be used, by some, to encourage, or excuse, the use of deadly force.

As far as, "It's Judge Holmes' way or the highway," mentality...I think that exists in every courtroom in Broward County.

Noneya
Noneya

they should have shot her...

Sher
Sher

I'm all for outstanding woman and self defense, HOWEVER, Once you realize you have pulled a weapon on a police officer, it shouldn't take the POLICE OFFICER to tell you to lower your weapon, my God...Such arrogance and lack of respect yet I'm sure she wants the same respect in the court room...

Roshawn Banks
Roshawn Banks

I agree with all except there are many courtrooms where it is the Judge's way or no way. I don't think Judge Holmes' courtroom is run that way.Roshawn Banks

Suckers
Suckers

This is a BSO plant. I know who you are deputee dog.

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