A judge in Brevard County, Fla. allegedly attacked a public defender in a hallway outside a courtroom after threatening him— "I'll beat your ass"—during a hearing.
A camera in the courtroom captured Judge John Murphy challenging public defender Andrew Weinstock on Monday after Weinstock refused to waive his client's right to a speedy trial.
"You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now," Murphy told Weinstock. "Stop pissing me off. Just sit down."
"You know I'm the public defender. I have a right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my client," Weinstock replied.
Murphy then asked Weinstock if he wanted to step out to the courtroom's hallway, where there are no cameras. "If you want to fight, let's go out back and I'll just beat your ass," he said.
The two left the courtroom together, and, in the video, you can hear as they angrily confront each other in the hallway.
Weinstock's supervisor told Channel 9 Weinstock thought they would just talk out the problem, but he said there were no words 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 Murphy returned to the courtroom. "I will catch my breath eventually," Murphy said. "Man, I'm an old man."
No charges are expected to be filed against Murphy, though the public defender's office plans to report the fight to the Florida Bar Association.