Judge who hit public defender returns to bench, less than a month later
Not quite a month after loudly challenging a public defender and inviting him outside the courtroom for a fight—and reportedly striking him—Brevard County Judge John C. Murphy apologized and returned to the bench Monday, Florida Today reports.
Video of the Florida courtroom outburst went viral, and sounds of a physical struggle could be heard after Assistant Deputy Public Defender Andrew Weinstock walked outside to the hallway with Judge Murphy, the ABA Journal reported at the time.
In an open letter (PDF) to county residents released Sunday, Judge Murphy wrote, “I love my job and have refocused myself on doing all I can to make myself a better person and judge.”
Murphy took a paid leave of absence and underwent anger-management counseling. He returns with a new assignment, in which he will preside over civil matters rather than criminal, reports Florida Today.
ABAJournal.com: “Judge on paid leave, seeking counseling after reported fight with public defender outside courtroom”
ABAJournal.com: “After judge’s fistfight with public defender was broken up, he returned to the bench, says report”