When Assistant Public Defender Andrew Weinstock entered the courtroom yesterday, he may have been prepared to exchange some verbal blows if needed with Judge John Murphy, but probably not the physical kind. In a showdown not exactly sanctioned by the State of Florida, and one that both had probably dreamed of at some point in their legal careers, the two provided us with a gold ole Public Defender vs. Judge boxing match.
The exchange began with Weinstock refusing to waive his clients’ right to a speedy trial.
“You want to set it for docket sounding, set it for docket sounding. I’m not waiving in any case. This is an emergency created by the state,” the attorney says.
Murphy responds: “You know if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now. Stop pissing me off. Just sit down. I’ll take care of it. I don’t need your help. Sit down.”
“You know what? I’m the public defender I have a right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my clients.”
“I said sit down. If you want to fight lets go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.”
Shortly after the Public Defender disappears from the screen, you can hear the melee taking place. Reportedly the judge grabbed the attorney by the collar landed a few blows to the PD’s face without any discussion. Afterwards the judge returns to the bench and proceeds with his case load even joking about his age and being out of breath. Aiding in his triumphant return was an electric round of applause from the ringside audience who all seemed to have chosen the judge while betting on the fight.
As of now no charges have been filed however the Judge was given the following day off from hearing cases. No word on whether the Public Defender’s injuries are more physical or emotional.