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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A family is heartbroken after their loved one, who suffered from a chronic illness, died just days after she was berated by a judge in bond court.

The public defender’s office said Judge Merrilee Ehrlich, a Broward County circuit court judge known for her “tyrannical ways,” scolded Sandra Faye Twiggs, 59, after she requested a breathing treatment.

According to the family, Twiggs suffered from COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

In the video, the judge is heard saying, “Ma’am, I’m not here to talk to you about your breathing treatment!”

The family said Twiggs was in court last Sunday, after squabbling with her 19-year-old daughter over a fan. Her daughter suffered scratches.

Twiggs’ family said they were disgusted after they watched how the judge treated her in the video. When Twiggs got home from jail her sister Anna said she was extremely upset.

According to her sister, Anna Lee Twiggs, Sandra Faye said “Anna, they treated me like a dog in the courthouse. They didn’t let me talk. The judge was so cruel. I needed a treatment and she (Twiggs) just kept on gasping for air as she was telling me this and she was so devastated.”

“When she came home from being in there she was never the same,” said Carolyn Porter, Twiggs’ goddaughter.

According to the public defender’s office, Judge Ehrlich has since resigned, but it is not clear when that resignation becomes effective.

Comments (30)
  1. Kate Baxter says:

    This is so sad. What was going on in the judge’s mind to harass this woman so much over her need for COPD treatment. My Dad had it and at times I thought he was going to die right in front of me as his breathing was so bad. RIP Ms Twiggs.

  2. I completely agree with you, Kate. What shame and a disgrace. Poor woman.

  3. Emma Thomas says:

    RIP Mrs. Twiggs. Judge Ehrlich…shame on you. There is a God you will account for your behavior to. Mrs. Twiggs no longer has breathing problems. May God forgive you.

  4. Shrly Yo says:

    This fake want to be Judge Judy’s Judge did not berate Ms. Twiggs. She had an issue as well as a lot of other folks with a Black person. This is discrimination . Nod your head do not speak! Sound like slavery times. Black folks stand your ground and do not take this kind of treatment. Do not lay down on this! Fight this and all other hatred from other races… We’re better than that..

  5. This judge is so heartless and cruel, it makes me sick to my stomach. She should be locked up for treating people this way. Disgusting human being.