• Brevard judge apologizes after fight with assistant public defender


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County judge accused of punching an assistant public defender during an altercation outside a courtroom is returning to the bench but in a different capacity.

    Brevard County Court Judge John Murphy returns to the bench on Monday.

    But instead of hearing criminal cases, he will handle civil cases.

    Chief Judge John Harris said Friday that the reassignment isn't a form of discipline.

    He says Murphy has been receiving anger management counseling since the altercation earlier this month.

    In a two-page letter to the community, Murphy stated he is happy to be back at work after taking a voluntary leave of absence, but regrets what he did.

    He said he understands it will take residents time to trust in him and the court system again.

    Murphy allegedly hit assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock outside a courtroom after the two exchanged words over whether his client could have a speedy trial.

    Murphy's full apology letter: PDF: Judge's apology to Brevard County residents

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