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Court date set for embattled former Florida guardian

Rebecca Fierle-Santoian ordered to appear in court in Tampa March 23

Rebecca Fierle-Santoian is accused of giving "do not resuscitate" orders to people who didn't want them.
Rebecca Fierle-Santoian is accused of giving "do not resuscitate" orders to people who didn't want them. (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – Court records in Hillsborough County reveal a court date has been set for Rebecca Fierle-Santoian, who faces felony charges of aggravated abuse and neglect against an elderly adult.

A notice of the hearing was posted in the case on Monday.

The former state and professional guardian was under a months long state criminal investigation after the death of one of her wards. That ward, 74-year-old Steven Stryker of Brevard County, died at a Tampa hospital in May of 2019.

Court records show both Stryker’s family and state investigators contend his death could have been prevented had life-saving measures been allowed.

Court records show Fierle placed a do not resuscitate order on Stryker against his wishes, and did so in hundreds of other cases without seeking permission from the wards or alerting the courts about her intent.

Multiple emails and phone calls to her attorneys requesting comment have not been returned.

Fierle-Santoian was arrested by Marion County deputies last month at her home in Ocala. She bonded out after spending the night in the Marion County Jail.

Video from the body worn camera of the arresting deputy showed the former guardian was surprised at the arrest, and told the deputy a deal had been made to have her turn herself into the Hillsborough County Courthouse.