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Broward Circuit Judge Berates Female Inmate in Wheelchair

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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.

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