Florida judge accused of punching public defender outside courtroom faces misconduct charges

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — A Florida judge accused of punching an assistant public defender during an altercation is facing misconduct charges.

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission filed a probable cause finding Thursday with the Florida Supreme Court.

It alleges Brevard County Judge John C. Murphy made belittling remarks from to the bench to an assistant public defender and then challenged him to a fight. Murphy allegedly hit the attorney outside the courtroom.

The charges also allege that Murphy later acted on seven cases even though there was no one from the public defender's office representing the defendants.

Murphy already has apologized to Brevard County residents. He also received anger management counseling before returning to the bench.

Murphy could wind up getting disciplined by the state Supreme Court due to the charges.

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