Brevard County, FL– An argument between a Brevard County judge and a public defender escalated into a physical brawl on Monday. Judge John Murphy allegedly attacked attorney Andrew Weinstock, throwing punches at him after verbal threats to assault him were caught on video.
Weinstock had accused Murphy of attempting to compel him to waive his client’s right to a speedy trial. “What do you want to do? I’m not waiving,” Weinstock can be heard saying in the video. Murphy replied, “You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now. 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 shot back at Murphy.
After repeatedly and unsuccessfully ordering Weinstock to sit down, Murphy gave Weinstock an ultimatum:
“If you want to fight, let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.”
Murphy then stepped outside of the courtroom, with Weinstock following. The video does not show Weinstock or Murphy during the fight, but loud thuds and expletives can be heard. Deputies had to break up the two men. “I will catch my breath eventually. Man, I’m an old man,” Murphy said after reappearing in the courtroom to the applause of witnesses.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, Weinstock is not interested in pressing charges. No arrests were made Monday, although the incident requires a report because it occurred inside of a courthouse.