‘Tyrannical’ judge told ‘not to return’ after she berates defendant who died three days later

A Lakewood ranch judge was relieved of the girl duties Friday after berating a lady in a wheelchair who was having trouble inhaling and exhaling due to two medical conditions and who have died at home three days following the encounter.

Broward County Circuit Determine Merrilee Ehrlich gave defendant Sandra Faye Twiggs, 59, who was within court facing misdemeanor charges caused by a family dispute, a tongue-lashing within a video dated April 15.

The judge’ s berating of Twiggs has been so extreme that the wheelchair-bound woman’ s public defender, Howard Finkelstein, called for the judge to be prohibited from presiding over criminal process.

“ It is not suitable for anyone to endure that kind of therapy, ” Finkelstein’s chief assistant, Gordon Weekes, told the Miami Herald.

Throughout the video, which was posted on YouTube so that as a comment on a judicial chat site, Twiggs asks about getting treatments and the judge can be noticed shouting her down, saying, “ I’ m not here to speak about your breathing treatments. ”


Twiggs made an appearance before Ehrlich in a video give food to from the North Broward Bureau throughout the hearing in bond court.

At provided in the hearing, the judge yelled, “ You’ ve already mentioned too much! ”

Broward County Circuit Determine Merrilee Ehrlich is seen above.   (Judicial Circuit associated with Florida)

Broward Chief Management Judge Jack Tuter said Sunday that he’ s telling Wirklich not to return to the courthouse due to her treatment of Twiggs, reports the particular Sun-Sentinel .

“ In light of recent activities, we have decided Judge Ehrlich is going to be told not to return to the courthouse as her retirement is effective 06 30, ” Tuter said. “ I will be working this weekend to discover a substitute to cover Judge Ehrlich’s [family court] division. ”

Twiggs, who seem to suffered from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, had been released upon bail and died Wednesday within her sleep.

“ We never understood anything about this video until the other day, ” Carolyn Porter, Twiggs’ goddaughter, told the Florida publication. “ She tried to tell us how they dealt with her, but she had anxiousness, and every time she tried to discuss it, she couldn’ t inhale. ”

“ What I saw there was someone who is not mentally and emotionally match to sit in judgment associated with human beings. Nobody should suffer episodes like that. ”

– Howard Finkelstein, community defender

In an Apr 20 letter to Tuter, the public defender said that Ehrlich has been “ bullying” other defendants that will day.


“ She raised the girl voice to many defendants, berated the particular attorneys and was impatient plus exasperated during the proceedings, ” Finkelstein wrote.

He went on to write that Ehrlich’ s demeanor was “ embarrassing” and lacked “ civility, ” describing her as “ intense and tyrannical. ”  

Her cousin, Anna Lee Twiggs, told CBS TELEVISION STUDIOS Miami that Sandra Faye stated “ Anna, they treated myself like a dog in the courthouse. These people didn’ t let me talk. The particular judge was so cruel. ”

“ When she came home through being in there she was in no way the same, ” Carolyn Porter, Twiggs’ goddaughter, told CBS Miami .

“ I had been outraged, ” Finkelstein told the particular Sun-Sentinel. “ What I saw there was clearly somebody that is not mentally and psychologically fit to sit in view of human beings…. Nobody should experience attacks like that because a judge has a bad day. ”

Attorney Bill Gelin, who runs the JAABlog web site, told the paper that he approached Twiggs’ family on Friday to verify that she had died.

“ Nobody had spoken to them or apologized on behalf of the legal system for that despicable way Twiggs was taken care of until I called, ” stated Gelin. “ This was sickening in my experience, so I did it for them. ”

Christopher Carbone is a reporter meant for FoxNews. com. Follow him upon Twitter @christocarbone .