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breaking news

Classes resume Tuesday after West Liberty-Salem HS shooting

Judge tells attorney 'I'll beat your ...' and allegedly throws punches


Deputies had to break up a fight between a Brevard County judge and public defender after an argument in court Monday, WFTV reported.

WARNING: Obscenities are heard in the raw video.

Judge John Murphy is accused of punching veteran public defender Andrew Weinstock after the two had words during court in which Murphy allegedly pressured Weinstock to get his client to waive his right to a speedy trial.

"You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now," Murphy tells Weinstock. "Stop pissing me off. Just sit down."

The judge allegedly asked Weinstock to come to the back hallway, an area where there are no cameras, which is where the fight broke out.

"If you want to fight, let's go out back and I'll just beat your a--," Murphy says in the video before the two head out of the courtroom.

Although Murphy and Weinstock could not be seen, the courtroom camera captured audio of the scuffle and several loud thuds that accompanied it.  

Those inside the courtroom sat uncomfortably and then clapped when the altercation sounded as if it ended.

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Weinstock's supervisor told WFTV Weinstock thought they would just talk out the problem, but he said no words were exchanged -- just blows thrown by Murphy.

"The attorney said that immediately upon entering the hallway he was grabbed by the collar and began to be struck," said Blaise Trettis, public defender of the 18th Judicial Court. "There was no discussion, no talk, not even time for anything. Just as soon as they're in the hallway, the attorney was grabbed."

Two deputies broke up the fight, and the attorney was immediately reassigned to another area so he and the judge would not have to interact with each other.

After the confrontation, Murphy allegedly went back into court and finished ruling over first appearances.

Murphy wasn't arrested, and it doesn't appear charges will be filed. Murphy could still be disciplined, however.




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