-by-Angela V. Woodhull, Ph.D. © AV Woodhull, 2011
In Part “A” of Elizabeth Faye Arnold, I ended the factual story by posing a question: “What would a person be charged with for running a red light and hitting someone on a motorcycle who later dies?”
I have now called a few police departments and posed this as a hypothetical question to them. “It depends on the circumstances” was the
typical answer. “It could be anything from negligence to manslaughter.”
“Would the typical investigation by traffic homicide investigator be closed out completely within four hours?”
“Oh, no, ma’am” a Miami front desk officer stated. “To complete such an investigation would take at least a couple of months.”
On the surface, this factual story, so far, appears to be nothing more than an “unfortunate situation.” It’s early on a Sunday morning. William Harold
Arnold is off on his motorcycle, probably on his way to his church where he plays the piano. He’s sitting on his motorcycle at a large intersection in Orlando and when the light turns green, he takes off, when suddenly, from out of nowhere, a woman in a Mustang hits him broadside. The motorcycle skids to a dirt area on the side of the road. Tina Holland, allegedly remorseful, apologizes to the police officer for being distracted from eating a doughnut. The officer closes out the investigation within four hours. No further investigation is ever conducted. Holland is issued a ticket for “running a red light” and given a court date.
A careful look at the file, however, reveals some curious information.
It turns out that William Harold Arnold, a 53-year-old spinster who has been living with Mama his entire life, is well hated by his neighbors. There are several police reports where he has called law enforcement on the neighbors, and they, in turn, have filed reports on him. This has been an ongoing battle for many years. One report states that the neighbor children were trespassing onto his property. Another report states that the neighbor children were spraying a chemical on his car. The officer notes that the kids were allegedly spraying only water onto his car.
There appears to be another file of an emergency guardianship proceeding commenced several years ago on Elizabeth Faye Arnold. Elizabeth, it turns out, has gone to the hospital emergency room on several occasions for swollen legs and feet—poor circulation.
While at the hospital, Rebecca Fierle steps in and becomes the emergency temporary guardian. She then places Mrs. Arnold in a nursing home.
The son, however—enraged-- somehow is able to bail Mom out of these emergency temporary guardianships and bring her back home. The emergency temporary guardianships expire. This back and forth scenario goes on for a number of years, about three years.
A background check on Tina Holland reveals that Holland has actually been in jail on several occasions for DUI, possession of crack cocaine, and
prostitution. On the morning when she hits William Harold Arnold, however, she is merely eating a doughnut.
A background on her work history reveals that she used to own a dumpster business with her ex-husband—the type of business that professional guardian Rebecca Fierle would hire when she needs to clean out a house.
The records further show that Tina Holland’s court date was changed on several occasions over the next two years, with the officer always being the one who requests a change of the date.
When the hearing finally comes about, no one is present at the hearing except for the officer. The judge asks if the man hit on the motorcycle is all right and alive. The office responds to the judge that yes, indeed, William Harold Arnold is well and alive.
The judge therefore, based on the officer’s testimony, institutes a $400
fine on Tina Holland for running the red light, and also mandates that she attend traffic school.
The paperwork in the file shows that William Harold Arnold—who was actually deceased—was served a subpoena of notice of the traffic hearing.
The subpoena was, however, returned to the court, undelivered—the process server noting that the house appears to be vacant and that there is a “For Sale” sign on the residence.
A further investigation into the file shows that Rebecca Fierle entered a
death certificate into the record on the date that the accident occurred.
That death certificate is then voided out and a new death certificate was created for another date—approximately two months later—when William Harold Arnold actually dies. Furthermore, the court records show that Fierle placed William Harold Arnold on Medicaid, even though she sold his home for $190,000.00. Fierle then was appointed as personal representative and there are outstanding medical bills that come forward as claims against William Harold Arnold’s estate. However, Fierle’s attorney states that the claims are too old, were not timely filed, and therefore don’t have to be paid. Fierle places the “Notice to Creditors” in an obscure little newspaper rather than the Orlando Sentinel.
We visit Elizabeth Faye Arnold in person. She is alert and appears to be
as mentally competent as a person can be. She has been tucked away in a marginal nursing home for quite some time now and she, too, has been trying to figure out just exactly what happened to her. “They came with an ambulance to my home the day that my son was hit on his motorcycle—even though I had not called for an ambulance.” Elizabeth, removed from her home by ambulance, was rushed to the hospital and then placed in the nursing home, where she has remained ever since.
She removes the blanket that is covering her feet. “Look at my feet,” she says. Her feet are so red and so swollen that there are stretch marks on them. “I’ve met Rebecca Fierle,” she states, “and she does nothing for me and does not give me any answers. I’ve looked out the window and I see her nice Mercedes that she drives. Can you get me out of here? Can you find out what has happened to my possessions, my furniture, my photographs? I don’t have even one picture of my son.”
“Would you be guardian? I want you to be my guardian,” she whispers to me, squeezing my hand.
After much searching, I finally track down the only two witnesses who were allegedly at the accident scene when Tina Holland was eating her doughnut. The one witness just happens to be a city council member and his wife is the secretary for the state attorney’s office in Orlando. He appears to be extremely defensive when I ask him to recall what he witnessed at the accident scene. “Whatever it states on the report. That’s all I remember,” he states. “Read the report.” And he walks off hurriedly.
The other witness is a real estate broker. He, too, appears to be extremely defensive when I knock on his door and attempt to interview him. “How did you find me!?” he inquires. “I don’t remember what I saw,” he states.
“It was too long ago.”
I interview more neighbors. It turns out that the neighbor across the street is also well connected to city officials. “They were real problem people,” he states. “The yard and the house were always a mess. Nobody liked them.”
I track down a former landlord of Tina Holland’s but I was never able to actually locate Tina Holland herself. The landlord tells me that everyone in the neighborhood was aware of the motorcycle accident. “She killed a man on a motorcycle and got away with murder,” he stated. “It was the talk of the neighborhood.” “She’s a real problem person—a drug addict. Didn’t pay her rent.”
Elizabeth Faye Arnold’s house has been repainted. The yard is tidy.
The neighbors no longer call the cops. Everything is now happy and tidy on Silver Drive.
Related Post: We Will Not Forget What We Witnessed: Elizabeth Faye Arnold and William Harold Arnold (Part 3-A)*Note: Dr. Angela V. Woodhull, a licensed private investigator, spent more than two and a half years investigating court records in Seminole and Orange Counties, Florida and interviewing family members and victims in order to compose this story. All court records that verify the contents of this article were submitted as attachments to the editor of the F.B.I. journal as verification of accuracy. Woodhull can be reached at (352) 327-3665 or (352) 682-9033.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
-by-Angela V. Woodhull, Ph.D. © AV Woodhull, 2011