Judge Merrilee Ehrlich who was so verbally abusive to a 59-year-old defendant that she reduced her to tears won’t be allowed to return to the courthouse after the incident. The defendant was found dead in her bed two days later.
A video shows judge Ehrlich yelling at a woman who was in court on a battery charge following a dispute at her apartment in Lauderhill, Fla. The incident happened April 15.
The woman who was in a wheelchair in the video told the judge that she had several medical conditions including asthma. At one point, the judge got so angry that she told the defendant that they were not there to discuss her breathing treatments.
The defendant’s sister confirmed after her death that the woman lived with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. The woman was bailed out of prison on Monday, but she was found dead in her bedroom on Wednesday.
Judge Won’t Return to Courthouse
The woman’s sister criticized the judge for being so “nasty” and for not allowing the inmate to get a much-needed breathing treatment while in jail.
Chief Judge Jack Tuter announced over the weekend that the judge would not return to her job after the incident.
I am saddened and disappointed in the way Judge Ehrlich behaved on the video,
Judge Ehrlich will reportedly retire on June 30 and will not be allowed to return to work until then. Tuter is reportedly seeking a substitute for her division. Ehrlich couldn’t be reached with a request for comment.
The chief judge insisted that Ehrlich’s behavior does not reflect other 17th Circuit judges’ work ethics. He added that all citizens have the right to be treated with respect and dignity.
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