VIERA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A public defender was allegedly struck by a judge in a courtroom after a verbal confrontation.
Public defender Andrew Weinstock was allegedly hit by Judge John Murphy during a courtroom session after Weinstock refused to wave his client’s right to a speedy trial.
“If I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now,” Murphy said in court, according to courtroom video obtained by WKMG. “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.
Murphy allegedly grabbed Weinstock by the collar and started hitting him when they went into a hallway. Even though they were off the camera, they can still be heard yelling at each other, with one of the men stating, “You want to (expletive) with me?”
Eventually a Brevard County sheriff’s deputy stopped the fight and neither man wanted to press charges. No arrests were made.
The judge was eventually applauded as he returned to the courtroom.