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Florida judge allegedly punched public defender

A Florida judge is accused of punching an assistant public defender during an altercation in a hallway outside a courtroom.

WFTV in Orlando reports that Judge John Murphy hit assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock after the two exchanged words over whether his client could have a speedy trial in the Brevard County courtroom.

"You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now," Murphy says from the bench.

Weinstock says, "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's supervisor, Public Defender Blaise Trettis, tells WFTV that the judge grabbed Weinstock's collar in the hallway off the courtroom after the judge asked the attorney to come into the hallway.

Deputies broke up the fight. Murphy wasn't arrested.

No one answered the phone in Murphy's judicial chamber, and a spokeswoman for the court administration didn't respond to an email. Weinstock also didn't respond to an email inquiry.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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