Family speaks out after doctor kills self
BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, Fla. (WSVN) -- The family of a doctor who was charged in a horrific animal abuse case and then committed suicide is speaking out for the first time.
Dr. Isaias Lerner, 66, was a respected doctor, a loving husband and father of two daughters. He dedicated his lifetime to his practice and his family.
Last Tuesday, his family said he snapped after police charged him for beating a beagle to death, and then took his own life. "I was appalled by what had happened," said his wife Marie. "I asked him, and he really had no answer for me. He said he did it and didn't understand why he did it."
Lerner's wife of 41 years was in Australia visiting family and friends when the incident occurred. Lerner was taking care of his daughter's dog at the time. The dog has been a part of the Lerner household for several years, after it became aggressive with his daughter's young child. "But after, everyone said this was not your father because my father was not capable of committing such an act," said daughter Michali.
Lerner was arrested by police after, they said, he beat the dog to death with a hammer and inserted a screw driver into his ear. "It wasn't my husband who killed that dog. It was as if something had entered his body and mind and totally took over," said Marie.
The family does not understand why a man who gave to charity and years of his time to help others committed such a crime. "I was angry about the dog, and I couldn't really understand what happen, and maybe I didn't tell him loud enough how much I loved him," said Marie, "and how essential he was to me and to my children and how much, how difficult this is going to be for any of us to go day by day without him."
Lerner had no history of mental illness. His wife said she thinks about her beloved husband all day. "I go to bed at night, and he's the last thing I think about, and I wake up in the morning and he's the first thing I think about, and I don't want to face another day without him in it," she said.
The Lerner family said, after the arrest he was threatened, embarrassed and humiliated. The Lerner family are not making any excuses for what occurred, but they do not want his life to be judged on one horrible act.
Lerner's two young grandchildren have not been told about his death.
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