(GoRealNewsNow.com) – A California judge has been allowed to walk free on a bond after shooting and killing his wife during a drunken fight and pleading not guilty to the murder charges.
The Washington Times reports that 72-year-old Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson gunned down his 65-year-old wife, Sheryl Ferguson, with a single shot on August 3.
You can watch a video report of what has occurred at this post’s conclusion.
He has been charged with one count of murder and weapons-related enhancements but denies any guilt.
“We want to be clear this was an unintentional, accidental shooting and not a crime. We’ll be reviewing all of the evidence obviously, but we want our position to be very clear,” declared Paul Meyer, one of Ferguson’s lawyers, speaking outside the courthouse.
The conditions for the judge’s release prohibit him from drinking alcohol or visiting bars or liquor stores.
He is also banned from owning any weapons or ammunition and must wear a GPS monitor restricting him to Orange, Riverside, or Los Angeles counties.
According to prosecutors, Ferguson had a gun holstered on his ankle, which he pulled out and fired during a drunken argument, thus fatally wounding his wife.
Texts exposed by Orange County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Alex offer more details about the incident.
“I just lost it. I just shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I’m so sorry,” Judge Ferguson texted his court clerk and bailiff.
The prosecution said he smelled of alcohol when he was arrested. “Well, I guess I’m done for a while,” he told the police officers detaining him.
The prosecutors said the judge and his wife were having dinner in the Anaheim suburbs when their drunken argument started.
“[Ferguson] pointed his finger at his wife in a manner mimicking a firearm [at the restaurant],” Alex revealed.
Their fight continued at home, with Mrs. Ferguson saying, “Why don’t you point a real gun at me?” After that, she was shot dead.
A total of 47 weapons and 26,000 rounds of ammunition have been seized by the police from the judge’s home.
Ferguson became an Orange County judge in 2015, presiding over criminal cases in Fullerton, a city of about 150,000 people.
The judge started his judicial career in 1983 as an Orange Council district attorney.
His next court date is set for October 30.
Here is the video report:
Prominent California judge Jeffrey Ferguson, who's accused in the fatal shooting of his wife, has pleaded not guilty. The 72-year-old allegedly texted his staff, “I just shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow.” @KaynaWhitworth reports. https://t.co/24dN6tLDzE pic.twitter.com/uGs4Kmu91z
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) August 16, 2023