A Florida judge is under fire after a video showing him getting into an altercation with a public defender spread on the Internet.
The video shows public defender Andrew Weinstock speaking in front of Brevard County Judge John Murphy and right as the video starts, it becomes clear that the two are having a disagreement. Reports say that Murphy was trying to pressure Weinstock into having his client waive their right to a speedy trial, but Weinstock would not give in. That is when things started to heat up.
“You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now," said Judge Murphy to Weinstock. "Stop pissing me off. Just sit down."
Weinstock did not appreciate being told to sit down, so he made it clear that he had every right to stand up for his client.
“You know I'm the public defender,” said Weinstock. “I have a right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my client.”
At that point, Murphy lost his temper and threatened Weinstock in front of everybody in the courtroom.
"If you want to fight, let's go out back and I'll just beat your ass," said Murphy.
Weinstock and Murphy then went to an area in the back, outside of the surveillance camera’s scope, and the situation immediately turned physical. Weinstock says that he did not get to say a word before Murphy grabbed him and began to punch him repeatedly.
“The attorney said that immediately upon entering the hallway he was grabbed by the collar and began to be struck," said public defender Blaise Trettis. "There was no discussion, no talk, not even time for anything. Just as soon as they're in the hallway, the attorney was grabbed."
After police broke up the fight, Weinstock was reassigned to a different area, and Judge Murphy went on as if nothing had happened.
"I hope it's not a reflection on Judge Murphy's really outstanding legal career," said Trettis. "If it's true, you know, I think it's really an uncharacteristic, isolated incident."
Reports say that Judge Murphy will likely not face any criminal charges. However, the incident will be reported to the Florida Bar Association.