Brevard County judge fights to keep seat after courtroom scuffle

VIERA, Fla. – A Brevard County judge accused in a courtroom scuffle with an attorney that was caught on camera was back in front of a panel fighting for his job.

The confrontation happened back on June 2 and resulted in the attorney, Assistant Public Defender Andrew Weinstock, resigning and Judge John Murphy having to undergo anger management classes.

"If you want to fight, let's go out back and I'll just beat your ass," Murphy was heard saying on the courtroom microphone.

It first started as an argument between Judge Murphy and Weinstock. That argument then turned into a scuffle outside the courtroom.

Weinstock claims Judge Murphy hit him in the jaw with his fist, but Murphy claims was being attacked.

After the incident, Murphy went to anger management counseling and Tuesday in court, the panel heard from his counselor, a licensed psychologist.

Murphy and Mike Ronsisvalle met bi-weekly, if not weekly since the confrontation. He testified Tuesday saying that Murphy's actions back in June were because of a 'perfect storm' of emotions.

Apparently a number of events happened in the days leading up to the scuffle, including the passing of Murphy's father, and that's why he couldn't keep his cool.

"You take all of those pieces together and Judge Murphy walked into that courtroom on June 2 with a tremendous amount of emotion," said Ronsisvalle.

The hearing ended Tuesday and it's up to the panel to decide if Murphy was out of order and if he should be reprimanded or even removed.

That process could take up to 4 weeks.


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