We've come face-to-face with Broward Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes, and she runs a tight ship over in the courthouse. She once directly addressed a New Times reporter sitting in the back row during a pretrial felony hearing, asking his name and intentions.
Apparently she has a similar take-charge philosophy on the weekends, as was evidenced on Easter Sunday, when she confronted BSO deputies with a gun in hand.
On Sunday, Holmes was at
her sister Carmita Scarlett's home in Deerfield Beach. Her brother-in-law, Neville Scarlett, was cleaning up the dishes from dinner.
BSO deputies had been investigating a burglary, and a neighbor across the street gave them a nonexistent address, which led them to case Scarlett's home. They saw Neville Scarlett in the kitchen window. The neighbors also called Carmita to report the burglary, and as she nervously lowered the window shade, she faced a BSO deputy with a gun.
"There's a man with a gun, and he's going to shoot me," Carmita reportedly shouted. Holmes, who carries a firearm on her person, ran into the room and drew her weapon.
"Put your hands up and come outside!" shouted the deputies.
Holmes, with a likely recollection of some of the tragic mishaps that occur when people with guns face cops with guns, made herself known. "I am Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes. I am armed," she reportedly said.
Outside, she slowly put her gun down on the grass. Deputies had their weapons trained on her until a higher-ranking deputy recognized Holmes and ordered the guns lowered.
The South Florida Times got the scoop on Holmes' weekend misadventure, and NBC Miami reported the story Tuesday. Reporter Jeff Burnside's starring line? "Judge Holmes, one of the very few black judges in Broward County, saw justice from a whole new perspective."
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After the conflict dissolved, Carmita Scarlett accosted the officer who had frightened her at the window with a gun. "Really, you were fearing for your life? Really?" she asked him.
"Forget it, I'm out of here," she said he replied.