A judge in Brevard County, Florida, was apparently so annoyed by an attorney that he threatened him verbally and allegedly threw punches as well.
“If I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now,” Judge John Murphy told public defender Andrew Weinstock, according to WKMG-TV, Monday. “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 responded.
“Sit down,” Murphy said again. “If you want to fight, let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.”
“Let’s go right now,” Weinstock said.
The verbal exchange was caught on video, but the pair exited the courtroom afterward where cameras were not rolling. That’s when Weinstock alleges that Murphy punched him. A Brevard County sheriff’s deputy stepped in to stop the altercation.
Some of the scuffle off camera was still heard in the footage inside the courtroom. When the judge reentered, those in the room clapped.
Watch WFTV-TV’s report with some video of the incident:
WKMG reported that both the judge and attorney did not file charges and no one was arrested. Still, legal analyst Luis Calderon told the news station that the men could face disciplinary action if a complaint is filed.
“I hope it’s not a reflection on Judge Murphy’s really outstanding legal career. If it’s true, you know, I think it’s really an uncharacteristic, isolated incident,” public defender Blaise Trettis told Florida Today.
What started the incident? According to WFTV-TV, Murphy was allegedly pressuring Weinstock’s client to waive his right to a speedy trial.