A Florida circuit court judge’s roughly 30-year-long career deservedly crashed and burned this week after courtroom footage surfaced that shows her mercilessly and unnecessarily berating a disabled defendant. And not just any disabled defendant, but one who died three days later.
Recorded last Sunday, the footage shows former Broward County Circuit Judge Merrillee Ehrlich, a Democrat, spouting an endless stream of bilge at Sandra Faye Twiggs, 59, a wheel-chair-bound woman who suffered from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Why all the venom? Because Twiggs needed help, according to the Miami Herald, but every time she tried to speak, Ehrlich shut her down.
The paper notes that Twiggs wound up in jail after she got into a domestic dispute with her daughter. During her incarceration, Twiggs reportedly had difficulty obtaining her medications.
When she tried to inform Ehrlich of this problem during her court appearance, the judge snapped at her, saying, “Ma’am, I am not here to talk to you about your breathing treatments!”
“Will you say something in the microphone so that she can hear you and you can give her instructions about propriety in the court?” she added, directing her rage at Twiggs’s attorney, Gordon Weekes. “I’m not going to spend all day with her interrupting me.”
After berating Twiggs for several minutes, Ehrlich then heartlessly sent her back to jail without first addressing her concerns about medication. She remained there for two more days. And even upon her release from jail last Tuesday, what had happened to her in court still weighed heavily on her mind, according to her sister, Anna.
“She said, ‘They treated me so bad,’ and she said, ‘All I wanted was some medical attention and some help,'” Anna said to local media, describing the moment Twigg finally returned home.
The next morning, Anna found her sister dead in bed.
Both Anna and family friend Carolyn Porter remain convinced that Ehrlich’s treatment of their sister and friend — namely her refusal to listen to the 59-year-old’s concerns about being denied medication in jail — ultimately spurred her death.
“She came home so devastated she couldn’t catch her breath,” Porter said to the Herald.
“If that judge is listening to us and looking at us, I hope you can sleep at night knowing you killed her!” she added in a statement to local media.
Additional footage from Ehrlich’s courtroom reportedly shows her berating other defendants, including a woman who was about to be incarcerated sobbing about the fate of her 9-month-old baby.
Given how many lives this ill-tempered woman has negatively affected or ruined because of her atrocious attitude, it only seems fair that she now gets to watch as her own career “dies!”
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