Sun. May 26th, 2024

California judge charged with killing wife had 47 guns, 26,000 rounds of ammunition: Court documents

A California Superior Court judge arrested last week has now been charged with killing his wife in front of their adult son at their home. Court filings reveal the judge had over 47 weapons and 26,000 rounds of ammunition in his home.

Ferguson allegedly shot his wife, Sheryl Ferguson, through the chest in the living room of their Anaheim home in front of their adult son using a .40-caliber pistol he pulled from his ankle holster amid an argument, according to court records.

Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, has been charged with one felony count of murder, one felony enhancement of personal use of a firearm and one felony enhancement of discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death.

He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life if convicted on all counts. He posted $1,000,000 in bail and has been released until his arraignment on Sept. 1.

The shooting stemmed from an argument earlier in the evening while they were having dinner at a restaurant near their home, according to filings.

While at dinner, the judge allegedly pointed a finger at his wife “in a manner mimicking a firearm,” records allege.

“Upon returning to their residence, the couple, still in the company of son, resumed arguing periodically over the course of more than an hour. Moments prior to the shooting and in reference to the hand gesture made at dinner, [the] victim uttered words to the effect of: ‘why don’t you point a real gun at me?'” according to court records.

Jeffrey Ferguson then allegedly “retrieved his pistol from his ankle holster and shot [the] center mass,” prosecutors alleged in filings.

Their son then called 911 and reported that his father was drinking too much and that after an argument, “his dad shot his mother,” according to filings.

The son tried to stabilize his mother along with paramedics but they were unsuccessful, according to filings.

Within minutes of the murder, Jeffrey Ferguson then allegedly sent a text to his court clerk and bailiff that said: “I just lost it. I just shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I’m so sorry,” according to court records.

According to prosecutors, Jeffrey Ferguson allegedly asked patrol officers to shoot him and was slurring words while smelling of alcohol. He also made spontaneous statements and remarks “acknowledging culpability,” according to records.

A search of the premises found 47 legally owned firearms at the judge’s residence, including rifles, shotguns and handguns and over 26,000 rounds of ammunition, according to court records. An additional firearm was later found at the residence and secured by defense counsels.

An additional .22-caliber rifle is registered to Jeffrey Ferguson, but its current whereabouts are unknown. Both defense counsel and law enforcement have been unable to find the rifle, according to court documents.

The alleged murder weapon was a Glock .40 pistol and it was recovered from the scene as was a casing recovered from the floor, according to documents.

The single bullet went through Sheryl Ferguson’s chest and exited through the middle of her back and into a wall behind her.

A blood sample collected from the judge about seven hours after the shooting revealed he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.06 at the time of the blood draw, according to court records.

The couple’s son told investigators he “never witnessed domestic violence between his parents (prior to the night of); but, he also reported that he has witnessed many arguments and that [Jeffrey Ferguson] tends to be more heated when he drinks,” according to court records.

The son also told investigators that a few years ago his mother told him Jeffrey Ferguson threatened suicide with a gun by placing it to his head, but she was able to talk him out of it, according to records. There was one instance of a gun being discharged while Jeffrey Ferguson was alone in the bathroom, but it was the son’s understanding that this was an accidental discharge, according to records.

Ferguson served as a Superior Court judge since 2015 and previously was a deputy district attorney with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for over 30 years, according to prosecutors.

The extensive conditions for Ferguson’s bail include the surrender of his passport, that he not possess firearms or ammunition of any kind and the removal of his concealed carry permit. Prosecutors also requested that Ferguson submit to a search and seizure; wear an ankle bracelet; not posses or consume alcohol; and remain in Orange County, Riverside County or Los Angeles County. source

Orange County Judge, Former ‘Attorney of the Year’ Arrested for Killing Wife After She was Found Shot Dead at Their Home

A Southern California judge has been arrested on suspicion of killing his wife in the couple’s home, authorities said Friday.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson was arrested late Thursday after police received reports of a shooting at the home and found the judge’s wife, Sheryl Ferguson, shot inside, said Anaheim police Sgt. Jon McClintock.

She was pronounced dead at the scene in the upscale neighborhood of Anaheim Hills. The 72-year-old judge was arrested and taken to jail. He is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to appear in court in Santa Ana, California, on Monday. He has not yet been formally charged.

McClintock said one other person was at the home at the time but declined to comment on who the person was or whether they were among the callers who notified police of the shooting.

Ferguson Handled Criminal Cases, Previously Honored with ‘Attorney of the Year’ Award

Ferguson was elected as a judge in 2014 and took office in 2015. He handles criminal cases in a courthouse in the Orange County city of Fullerton. He started his legal career in the Orange County district attorney’s office in 1983 and went on to work narcotics cases, for which he won various awards, according to the court.

During his time as a prosecutor, he was honored as an “attorney of the year” by the North Orange County Bar Association. He served as the organization’s president from 2012 to 2014. He was previously married to another woman and they had a son. He and Sheryl Ferguson have another son together, said Juli Mitchell, the sister of his ex-wife.

Ferguson Previously Accused a District Attorney of Having Sex with Defense Lawyer

In 2017, Ferguson was admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance for posting a statement on Facebook about a judicial candidate “with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth of the statement” and for being Facebook friends with attorneys appearing before him in court, according to a copy of the agency’s findings.

According to the commission’s order, then-Deputy District Attorney Karen Schatzle in 2016 was running for judicial office. Ferguson supported her opponent, Judge Scott Steiner, who two years earlier had been publicly censured for having sex with two women in his courthouse office.

Schatzle in April 2016 posted on the North Orange County Bar Association page that Steiner “uses his office for sex and yet so many aren’t concerned, crazy politics!” Ferguson posted a response reading: “Karen Schatzle has sex with defense lawyer whike [sic] shw [sic] is DA on his cases and nobody cares. Interesting politics.” source

California judge who’s charged with murder texted court staff that he shot his wife, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California judge accused of killing his wife during an argument while drunk texted his court clerk and bailiff afterward to say he had shot her, prosecutors said Friday as they charged him with murder.

A court filing from prosecutors says Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson texted minutes after last week’s killing: “I just lost it. I just shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I’m so sorry.”

Ferguson is free on $1 million bail. But prosecutors said they’re seeking new bail conditions to protect public safety and ensure he doesn’t flee after authorities found 47 weapons, including the pistol used in the shooting, and more than 26,000 rounds of ammunition at his Anaheim home. The weapons are legally owned but a rifle registered in his name is still missing, they said.