Choose charged with homicide texted employees that he shot his spouse, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California choose accused of killing his spouse throughout an argument whereas drunk texted his court docket clerk and bailiff afterward to say he had shot her, prosecutors stated Friday as they charged him with homicide.

A court docket submitting from prosecutors says Orange County Superior Court docket Choose Jeffrey Ferguson texted minutes after final week’s killing: “I simply misplaced it. I simply shot my spouse. I received’t be in tomorrow. I shall be in custody. I’m so sorry.”

Ferguson is free on $1 million bail. However prosecutors stated they’re in search of new bail situations to guard public security and guarantee he would not flee after authorities discovered 47 weapons, together with the pistol used within the taking pictures, and greater than 26,000 rounds of ammunition at his Anaheim residence. The weapons are legally owned however a rifle registered in his title continues to be lacking, they stated.

The taking pictures occurred after Ferguson and his spouse, Sheryl Ferguson, have been arguing at a restaurant on Aug. 3, the Orange County district lawyer’s workplace stated within the court docket submitting. The argument continued after the couple returned to their residence within the upscale neighborhood of Anaheim Hills. The court docket doc says the spouse stated one thing to the impact of “why don’t you level an actual gun at me?” and he pulled a pistol from his ankle holster and shot her within the chest.

Their grownup son referred to as 911 and stated his father had been ingesting an excessive amount of and shot his mother, the doc says.

Jeffrey Ferguson additionally referred to as 911 to vaguely report the taking pictures. When requested if he shot his spouse, he stated he did not need to discuss it at the moment and he or she wanted paramedics.

When officers arrived, Ferguson smelled of alcohol and instructed them, “Oh man I can not imagine I did this,” in line with the doc.

Ferguson, 72, was arrested at his residence. He was launched a day later and is about to be arraigned on Sept. 1.

On Friday, prosecutors charged Ferguson with homicide with weapons-related enhancements. They need him to give up his passport, put on an ankle monitor and possess no alcohol or firearms.

Ferguson’s attorneys, Paul Meyer and John Barnett, issued a short assertion and declined to reply questions. “This can be a tragedy for your entire Ferguson household. It was an accident and nothing extra,” they stated.

Ferguson has been a choose since 2015. He handles felony circumstances within the Orange County metropolis of Fullerton. He began his authorized profession within the Orange County district lawyer’s workplace in 1983 and went on to work narcotics circumstances, for which he received numerous awards. He served as president of the North Orange County Bar Affiliation from 2012 to 2014.

In 2017, Ferguson was admonished by the Fee on Judicial Efficiency for posting a press release on Fb a couple of judicial candidate “with understanding or reckless disregard for the reality of the assertion” and for being Fb associates with attorneys showing earlier than him in court docket, in line with a duplicate of the company’s findings.

Ferguson stated on his Fb web page that he grew up in a army household and traveled all through Asia as a toddler. He went on to attend school and legislation faculty in California. He and his spouse have been married in 1996.

The arrest shocked the Southern California authorized neighborhood and officers have been grappling with how the case must be dealt with. The Orange County district lawyer’s workplace requested state officers to weigh in on whether or not there was a battle of curiosity earlier than submitting expenses. A choose in neighboring Los Angeles County will hear the case, officers stated.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Division, which runs the county jail, stated Ferguson was launched final week in line with the pre-established guidelines for bail and the legislation. No further situations have been looked for his launch by Anaheim’s police company, which arrested him, stated Jeff Puckett, Orange County’s assistant sheriff for custody operations.

“We’re merely the those who housed him as a part of our county mandate to deal with arrestees,” he stated. “The sheriff’s division can not impose situations.”

On the time of Ferguson’s arrest, the info and circumstances did not justify a bail enhancement, stated Anaheim police Sgt. Jon McClintock. He stated the choose “is afforded the identical constitutional proper to submit bail as anybody else” and declined to touch upon the submitting by the district lawyer’s workplace.

Orange County is made up of a cluster of cities — essentially the most populous being Anaheim — which can be between Los Angeles and San Diego and are collectively residence to greater than 3 million folks.

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