Saturday, 19 June, 2021


Judge punished for incident with frail inmate who later died

Ehrlich's behavior was described as'aggressive and tyrannical by Twiggs public defender Ehrlich's behavior was described as'aggressive and tyrannical by Twiggs public defender
Bennie Garza | 23 April, 2018, 19:56

At other points in the video, Ehrlich shouted at Twiggs, "You've already said too much!' and admonished her for saying more than "yes" or 'no" when she tried to explain that her 19-year-old daughter, Michelle Ballard, lived both with her, and her sister, in Miami.

Ehrlich asked her if she lived with her daughter; Twiggs' response would have required more than a "yes" or a "no" because she doesn't live with her full-time, but an apparently exasperated Ehrlich was not in a mood to brook any explanation. Mid-sentence, Ehrlich snaps at her: "Excuse me!"

Ehrlich was scheduled to retire this summer and had filed her paperwork just a few weeks before the incident, according to Judge Tuter. She also had trouble getting her medications in the jail, Porter said.

Anna recalled, "She [Sandra] said, 'They treated me so bad, ' and she said, "All I wanted was some medical attention and some help".

'It is not appropriate for anyone to endure that kind of treatment, ' Finkelstein's chief assistant, Gordon Weekes, told the Miami Herald. Twiggs, who suffers from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was frail and gasping for breath when she was brought before Ehrlich in a wheelchair.

Twiggs appeared before Ehrlich in a video feed from the North Broward Bureau during the hearing in bond court.

The judge told Twiggs "I'm not here to talk about your breathing treatment". They didn't I want to talk.

Broward Chief Administrative Judge Jack Tuter said Saturday that he's telling Ehrlich not to return to the courthouse because of her treatment of Twiggs, reports the Sun-Sentinel. "Ma'am, don't even say yes".

Porter told the Miami Herald that once Twiggs was released from jail and taken back home, she was starving, dizzy and borderline breathless. "You have to arrange for someone to carry you if you can not get there yourself", Ehrlich said.

Within a day of being harassed by Ehrlich, Ms. Twiggs died. "It's eating her up inside".

The judge's berating of Twiggs was therefore extreme the wheelchair-bound woman's defender, Howard Finkelstein, called to become banned from presiding over proceedings. The Judge was informed that Nefreteri Tamalo had no income and was a stay-at-home mother to her nine month old child, ' he wrote.

Law&Crime could not reach Ehrlich for comment.

"Yes, ma'am" Twiggs said.

"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. "He also said Ehrlich's behavior was shocking, and an embarrassment to Broward County". "Judge Erhlich should never again preside over First Appearance Court or any criminal our juvenile delinquency proceeding".

"I'm not going to spend all day with her interrupting me", Ehrlich said. "Exactly what I found there was an individual which is not mentally and emotionally healthy to sit in judgment of individual beings". The defendant died three days later, and the judge has since resigned. Her career spanned roughly 30 years and included a 2006 bid to serve as a Democrat attorney general of Florida.

"No one had spoken to them or apologized on behalf of the legal system for the despicable way Twiggs was treated until I called", said Gelin.

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