Florida Supreme Court suspends judge accused of berating and hitting public defender

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ORLANDO, Florida — The Florida Supreme Court has suspended a county judge who was captured on video berating and threatening to assault a public defender.

In an order released Tuesday, the court ordered Brevard County Judge John C. Murphy suspended without pay until the end of his judicial discipline case, which is still pending. Murphy also must explain why he should not be removed from office. He was given 20 days to respond.

Murphy is accused of hitting former assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock outside a courtroom last year after they argued over whether Weinstock's client could have a speedy trial.

In May, the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended a four-month suspension, reprimand, mental health therapy and up to $50,000 fine for Murphy.

A message left with Murphy's attorney was not immediately returned.

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