The wife of a Palm Beach County Deputy, accused of stealing and selling personal information while on the job, collapsed in court moments after a judge denied him bond.
Daphne Felisma tried to push through the gate separating her from Deputy Frantz Felisma inside the courtroom, and reached out for him.
Guards quickly ushered her out, but she was overcome with emotion.
Barely moving, Felisma had to be wheeled out of the federal courthouse on a stretcher. Many of the couple’s friends couldn’t hold back their tears.
Deputy Felisma is accused of using his Palm Beach County Sheriff Office laptop to access the private information of at least 50 people, then selling it to a man named Kesner Joaseus, someone prosecutors call “a known fraudster.” Joaseus is suspected of opening accounts using that information and stealing thousands of dollars.
“Mr. Felisma maintains his innocence in this matter, and is thankful for the outpouring of support from the community,” said his attorney Jason Kreiss.
Joaseus was the one who turned in Felisma, according to prosecutors. Federal prosecutors argued Felisma should be kept behind bars because he poses a threat to Joaseus and his family. The judge said prosecutors convinced him Felisma should remain in custody after bringing up a 2011 incident where Felisma pulled his PBSO gun on another man while off duty.
“At this point in time, there was no evidence indicating any threats,” said Kreiss.
The prosecution also argued that Felisma confessed to the crime. They say after he was arrested Felisma admitted to giving information to Joaseus, but said “he was doing his own investigation into the man, and planned to nail him.”
Felisma never told anyone at PBSO about this investigation.
The judge said he ruled against bond because the evidence was overwhelming.
At least 30 of Felisma’s family and friends were in court.
They say they felt Felisma did not get a fair hearing, because they felt he was being targeted because he is from Haiti.
The US attorney argued Felisma might flee because he faces almost 7 years in prison and has dual citizenship. The judge did say he took into consideration Felisma’s dual citizenship, making him a potential flight risk.