Florida Judge Allegedly Threatens Public Defender, Challenges Him To A Fight, And Then Attacks Him Outside Courtroom

Unknown-1gavel2If the judges over in Broward County are having trouble staying sober, it appears that anger management may be the challenge for judges in Brevard County, Florida. Judge John Murphy has been accused of saying that he wanted to throw a rock at a public defender and then saying that he wanted to meet him behind the courtroom to “beat your ass.” According to public defender Andrew Weinstock, he proceeded to try to do precisely that. However, no criminal charges have been brought against Murphy and there is no reported judicial discipline proceeding.

Murphy was allegedly upset that Weinstock would not get his client to waive his right to a speedy trial. In the video below, he tells Weinstein “You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now.” He then told Weinstock to “Stop pissing me off. Just sit down.” Then it allegedly went from insulting to gladiatorial with Murphy quoted as saying “If you want to fight, let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.”

The two then left the courtroom. While the two could not be seen, the courtroom camera captured sounds of a scuffle and loud thuds — even producing applause from the courtroom when the fighting seemed to end. It would seem like an April Fool’s joke but it wasn’t April and it was no joke.

In the video, Murphy clearly loses his sense of control and decorum. Weinstein seems to agree when the judge asks him to step outside and immediately follows Murphy. However, Weinstock’s supervisor Blaise Trettis, public defender of the 18th Judicial Court said that Weinstock thought that they were going to just talk things through but that “immediately upon entering the hallway he was grabbed by the collar and began to be struck. 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 reportedly broke up the fight and Weinstein was reassigned and Murphy went back and retook the bench to continue with cases.

The question is, if Trettis and Weinstein maintain that this was an unprovoked attack, why was there no criminal charge. Fights in courthouses are routinely treated more severely than other assaults. Moreover, if Murphy did make these statements, it is clearly a violation of judicial ethics. What makes that violation even more egregious is that it was allegedly over pressure to get someone to waive a constitutional right.

I assume that judicial discipline will come but I am curious as to how the deputies concluded that no criminal act occurred.

John C. Murphy was elected in September of 2006 and re-elected in 2012 for a term that expires on January 8, 2019. He is a graduate from the University of Dayton School of Law. Before taking the bench, he worked at his father’s law firm, Betten, Murphy & Weiss, Attorneys, P.A.

Source: WFTV

60 thoughts on “Florida Judge Allegedly Threatens Public Defender, Challenges Him To A Fight, And Then Attacks Him Outside Courtroom”

  1. Does anyone know what happened to the client? Did he get a new lawyer? Was he given a trial? Convicted?

  2. Because the wheels of Justice grind slowly, it will take some time for ‘due process’ to catch up to Murphy; and that is assuming the FLORIDA JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION follows through with an investigation and a ruling against him. Ditto for the FLORIDA BAR.
    So, by citizens putting enough heat on him, he will resign.

    Judge John C Murphy is a public figure and, as such, he does not have a right to privacy for anything, including his public records.
    Judge Murphy is 56 years old (Jan 1958)
    He lives at 3152 Bellwood Circle in Rockledge, Florida 32955-5111.
    I would publish his phone numbers, but he has recenty had them disconnected.

    This is posted as a public service without malice.

  3. This judge needs to go before the Supreme Court to take responsibility for his words and actions. There should be consequences. There would be if you or I did something like that. The problem with Judges is they think that they are above the law and people on the other side don’t deserve the respect that the law says they should have. Telling people they don’t have constitutional rights! what an ass!!! Good for the prosecutor for standing up for his client and not railroading him/her into doing what the judge demanded he have his client do. That takes balls!!!

  4. Michale:

    “If it is not done soon enough, there might be a new awakening, and the backlash will send us all back to the middle ages. I like to think of myself as the lone voice trying to hold the pendulum at 6!”


    My, you must have quite a strong back to hold the fate of the entire nation on it. You keep voting those conservative, religious wackos into office and you’ll get the Dark Ages sooner than you think.

    1. mespo727272: (why are you anonymous? Jaron Lanier states, correctly, to beware of those afraid to correspond using at least their real identity; I do on this forum; my name really is Michael.) Here’s my quick response:

      Of course my rhetoric was over-the-top (even silly in its hyperbole). But, what else will shake the revelry of the empty suit responses of Jonathan’s constant blogging about Judicial abuse, revealing a corrupt system from top to bottom. Also, my suggestion of including the blue collar into the manicured male domain has roots in the early American trait of juries deciding not just matters of fact but matters of law. Lastly, god forbid that any one here even remotely suggests revamping the system to get the lawyers OUT OF THE WAY and streamline much of the process to speed it up and make us simple folk actually feel like we have a stake in the system.

      That, of course, can only become a reality when consensual (drugs, prostitution, etc) crimes (oxymoron to say the least) are finally written off the books and the law can focus on violent crimes and property violation.

      In effect, the wonks need a bonk to get out of the cubicle and see the damage done by their good intentions (always the bane of Progressive know-it-all ism)

      1. Michael – mespo is Mark Esposito and is a guest blogger on here, but I had to ask, too. 😉 Just from a practical side, what would progressives do if they could not save us from ourselves?

  5. To All
    Urge people to call Chief Judge John Harris, to not allow Judge Murphy to be paid for leave, and never to return as a judge again.

    Tel 312 617 7287 Jennifer Pastor is the Judge’s assistant

    To all
    We should not sit back and tolerate this. This Judge should be remove from his job, without pay. If you want to voice your concerns, see contact info below.
    Eighteenth Judicial Circuit

    Michelle Kennedy, Public Information Officer
    2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
    Viera, Florida 32940
    Tel: (321) 637-5355 Email: michelle.kennedy@flcourts18.org
    Fax: (321) 633-2172

  7. Who was the defendant and what was the charge? I cannot seem to find that information in any of the news reports?
    Thanks for your help.

  8. Holy Cats! I thought “courtroom brawl” was supposed to be a figurative battle of wits!

    Do you suppose that the Public Defender is hesitant to press charges for fear he will get on the bad side of other judges?

    How is this judge fit to adjudicate cases where defendants lost control and broke the law?

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