Wednesday, September 21, 2022

I-Team: Mistrial declared for woman who had the largest guardianship practice in Florida

by Danielle DaRos

A judge declared a mistrial on Monday in the trial Rebecca Fierle, the woman considered to be Florida's most notorious guardian.

Fierle faced felony abuse charge related to the death of 75-year-old Steven Stryker, a ward in her care.

As the CBS12 News I-Team reported last year, Fierle had the largest guardianship practice in the state, overseeing the medical care and finances of more than 400 people spanning 19 counties.

A judge put her in charge of Stryker, and against his wishes, Fierle signed a "Do Not Resuscitate" order for him, and decided to cap his feeding tube.

Days later, he choked while in the hospital. Because of the DNR, hospital staff could not save him.

An investigation revealed Fierle had put DNRs on a number of her wards, and an audit found she collected millions of dollars in fees that were not authorized by courts.

Fierle was on trial for the abuse and neglect charge. The judge declared a mistrial for the case after a hung jury.

Her defense team told a jury she was doing her best to handle complicated cases, while prosecutors showed she only spoke to Stryker a few times before making life and death decisions for him.

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