Hearing starts in Brevard County for judge accused of hitting assistant public defender


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VIERA, Florida — A panel that disciplines Florida judges is hearing the case of a Brevard County judge accused of punching an assistant public defender during an altercation.

A six-member panel from the Judicial Qualification Commission on Monday started hearing the case involving Judge John Murphy.

Panelists were shown a video of courtroom arguing between Murphy and assistant public defendant Andrew Weinstock last summer.

A special counsel for the commission told the panel that Murphy hit Weinstock twice in the face just outside the courtroom a short time later.

Murphy's attorney told the panel that the judge never hit Weinstock.

The panel will make a recommendation to the Florida Supreme Court over whether to reprimand, fine or remove Murphy from the bench.

Florida Today (http://goo.gl/FrRsBh ) reports that the hearing is expected to last two days.

Information from: Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida), http://www.floridatoday.com

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