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Judge and public defender get into a fistfight outside a Florida courtroom

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WFTV.com reports a fight involving a judge and public defender outside a Florida courtroom yesterday. On Monday, Judge John Murphy allegedly punched public defender Andrew Weinstock after a heated argument. Allegedly, the argument stemmed from a disagreement over a speedy trial.

In courtroom video, Murphy said that if he had a rock, he would strike Weinstock with it. He then told Weinstock to stop “pissing him off and just sit down.” The judge asked Weinstock to meet with him in a hallway without any cameras. Murphy said he would take Weinstock out back and “beat his ass.”

Without a camera, the scuffle wasn’t captured on video, but the camera picked up audio from the brawl. Weinstock’s supervisor told WFTV that Weinstock thought they were going to have a discussion; he didn’t expect an MMA type battle.

Weinstock said that after he had left the courtroom, the judge grabbed him by the collar and attacked him. After two deputies separated Murphy and Weinstock, the judge went back to his bench, and Weinstock was reassigned. For now, authorities have not charged the judge with any crimes. The public defender’s office will report the incident to the Florida Bar.

According to the Judgepedia website, Murphy graduated from law school at the University of Dayton. He became a member of the bar in 1983. Voters elected Murphy as Brevard County judge in 2006. The voters then re-elected him in 2012. His latest term expires in 2019.

The official Brevard County website states the county has a long history. Brevard County was established in 1854 by Florida legislation, and then signed into law by 1855. Brevard County is named after Theodore Brevard, who served as Florida Comptroller. After a few changes to Brevard County boundaries, the latest property boundaries have existed since 1905.

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