California Judge Arrested for Shooting Wife

Father Arrested After Encouraging Teen Daughter's Suicide Attempt

( – A Southern California Superior Court judge is in custody after allegedly fatally shooting his wife. The suspect had been drinking prior to the incident, which left the victim with at least one bullet wound to the head. The judge is currently out on a $1 million bond, but prosecutors have concerns because police failed to track down all of his legally registered firearms.

Seventy-two-year-old Jeffrey Ferguson faces felony charges for enhancement of personal use of a firearm, enhancement of discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury, and murder. According to a press release from Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Ferguson’s adult son called 911 at roughly 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, to report the shooting. Officers arrived to find 65-year-old Sheryl Ferguson dead on the scene. ABC 7 reports that the suspect expressed surprise and remorse to responding officers.

Police executed a search warrant and recovered 47 weapons from the home, along with over 26,000 ammunition rounds, but they failed to find a .22 rifle that was also registered to Ferguson. A second rifle had also apparently gone unaccounted for, but the defense attorney handed over that weapon after its subsequent recovery. Ferguson allegedly used a Glock .40 to shoot his wife.

ABC 7 shares that Ferguson texted his bailiff and court clerk afterward, confessing to the crime. The suspect reportedly apologized that he wouldn’t be at work the next day because he expected to be in police custody.

The prosecution requested an expedited arraignment to add conditions to Ferguson’s release, noting “great concern for public safety.” They specifically asked that the court restrict the judge’s freedom via passport surrender and use of an ankle monitor, and they also wanted the suspect to be barred from possessing firearms or consuming alcohol. Prosecutors additionally requested that he not attempt to contact his son who was at the home at the time of the murder.

If convicted on all charges, Ferguson faces 40 years to life in prison.

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