Brevard judge accused of hitting public defender
No arrests made in alleged incident
VIERA, Fla. – A judge allegedly struck a public defender Monday after a verbal confrontation in a Brevard County courtroom.
Judge John Murphy is accused of hitting Andrew Weinstock, according to the public defender's office.
During a court session, Murphy asked Weinstock to waive his client's right to a speedy trial, but Weinstock refused, the public defender's office said.
The confrontation leading up to the fight was captured on video.
"If I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now," Murphy said. "Stop pissing me off. Just sit down. I'll take care of it. I don't need your help. Sit down."
"I'm the public defender, I have the right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my clients," Weinstock said.
"Sit down," Murphy said. "If you want to fight, let's go out back and I'll just beat your (expletive)."
"Let's go right now," Weinstock said.
The two went into a hallway, where Murphy allegedly grabbed Weinstock by the collar and started hitting him, according to the public defender's office.
Although off camera, the two can still be heard yelling at each other, with one of them saying, "You want to (expletive) with me?"
A Brevard County sheriff's deputy stopped the fight.
The participants refused to press charges and no arrests were made.
The video also shows the judge being applauded as he returned to the courtroom.
Local 6 legal analyst Luis Calderon said both men could face disciplinary action for what happened in court, simply because of the attention the case is getting.
Calderon said worst cast scenarios for both men could result in them losing their jobs and possibly being disbarred.
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