Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Help Me Howard: Can't Leave Broward
Do you leave the county you live in? Many people stay close to home, but one South Florida man who has been ordered to stay in Broward County or go to jail wants to come to Dade for a simple reason. Can the State block you from leaving a county? It's why he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- There are people who live in South Florida who will tell you it's better in Broward. Maybe so, unless you can't leave Broward County.
Sherman Winkfield: "I am a grown man and I should be able to go where I want to go, and when I want to go there."
Meet Sherman Winkfield, who does not leave Broward County.
Sherman Winkfield: "I can't go to Dade County, Palm Beach County or no other county."
Patrick Fraser: "So, you are locked into Broward County?"
Sherman Winkfield: "I am locked into Broward County."
The reason, in 1991 Sherman was convicted of murdering a man in Miami.
Patrick Fraser: "You killed a guy?"
Sherman Winkfield: "I killed a guy."
Patrick Fraser: "Why did you kill him?
Sherman Winkfield: "Because I feared for my life and they was trying to kill me."
It was a horrible thing to do and Sherman got what a judge said he deserved, 30 years in prison. Then because of good behavior, he was released after 15 years under strict guidelines that he had to follow a curfew, don't leave Broward and don't mess up.
Sherman Winkfield: "I have been working for the last six years, maintaining a job, taking care of my bills. It don't take six years to see a person got change in their life."
In the six years since he was released, Sherman has done what he was required to do and if he wanted to go visit his mother in Kendall he had to write a letter to the parole commission in Tallahassee to ask permission.
Sherman Winkfield: "Her health is deteriorating. She has one eye removed."
But now Sherman's mother Barbara Winkfield is very sick. She can't see, can't walk and can't believe that her son that lives 30 minutes away can't come visit her much.
Barbara Winkfield, Sherman's Mother: "I miss him seeing me and I would like to see him more."
Sherman says he would like to see his mother everyday, to help his brother and sister-in-law take care of her.
Sherman Winkfield: "I want to pay her back, my mom, cause she don't have that much longer, so I want to make sure I show her my love. To sit there and comfort her through her situation cause she was there for me."
But, if and when Barbara takes turn for the worse, if Sherman gets a call to come see her one last time, he can't go.
Sherman Winkfield: "They will say that I entered another county without permission. It's a technical violation, which a technical violation sends me back to the pen."
Sherman's argument, he served his time in prison. He has been a tax paying citizen for six years, let him cross the Dade Broward line.
Sherman Winkfield: "I done did the time."
So Howard, can a parole board block him from crossing the county line for an emergency?
Howard Finkelstein: "Yes, as part of Sherman's early release, because the victim's family wants no contact with him, he is not allowed to go into Dade County without the parole board's permission, and that even includes a medical emergency that his mother may have.
The spokesman for the parole commission told me, the board meets three times a month to hear requests. That they don't have emergency hearings to allow someone like Sherman to rush down to Dade. That he signed and agreed to parole supervision. That if he doesn't like the conditions, he shouldn't have agreed to them, but he does have an option.
Howard Finkelstein: "Sherman can ask the board to give his parole officer the right to let him rush down to Dade County to see his mother if she takes a turn for the worse. Sherman needs to put that request in writing to them now."
Sherman will do it and hopes his victim's family doesn't mind.
Sherman Winkfield: "I hope the family forgive me for what happened. I just wish they find something in they heart, release me off my parole, let me live on with my life."
Now Sherman will be locked into Broward for seven more years, until 2018, that's when his parole ends. Considering he murdered someone, do you think it's fair keep him locked into one county?
Locked into an arresting situation? Ready to be set free? Contact us. Whether its Dade or Broward, Monroe or Palm Beach, we can go anywhere. We aren't on probation.