"A Florida judge is accused of punching a defense attorney Monday during a court hearing.
Judge John Murphy and veteran public defender Andrew Weinstock exchanged words in a Brevard County courtroom after the judge tried to pressure the attorney to ask 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 told the attorney. “Stop pissing me off. Just sit down.”
The argument was captured on closed-circuit video.
“You know, I’m the public defender,” Weinstock said. “I have a right to be here, and I have a right to stand and represent my client.”
The judge then challenged the attorney to go into a back hallway, where there were no cameras, to fight.
“If you want to fight, let’s go out back, and I’ll just beat your ass,” Murphy said, and the two men left the courtroom.
Although the pair could not be seen on camera, the courtroom monitoring system captured audio of them scuffling, accompanied by several loud thuds.
Courtroom observers sat uncomfortably or exchanged incredulous looks during the altercation.
They clapped when the fight sounded as if it had ended.
Weinstock’s supervisor said the two men did not exchange additional words in the hallway, but he said the judge threw several punches at the defense attorney."