Police arrest judge accused of murdering his wife in their home

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Mugshot of Jeffrey Ferguson, a judge accused of shooting his own wife to death in their home (Image: AP)
Mugshot of Jeffrey Ferguson, a judge accused of shooting his own wife to death in their home (Image: AP)

A judge in California was arrested after allegedly shooting his wife in the home that they shared on Thursday night.

Police arrived at the home of Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, and found his 65-year-old wife, Sheryl, had been shot at least once, according to the Anaheim Police Department. The murder weapon has not been found yet.

It was not clear who called the authorities, but the LA Times reports that an officer that spoke to them on the condition of anonymity revealed that one of the couple's adult sons called 911 and attempted to perform CPR on his mother. When police arrived, the found the woman dead at the scene.

Police arrest judge accused of murdering his wife in their home erideuiqtqiqdrinvJudge Jeffrey Ferguson has been arrested on suspicion of murder after his wife was shot dead in their home in Southern California (Orange County Bar Association)

Judge Ferguson is was held on $1 million bail on suspicion of murder, but it appears he has paid that and been released.

Two sources told the Los Angeles Times that a child of the couple was inside the home when police arrived. A neighbour says she heard the arrest happen, with Ferguson shouting, “Don’t shoot me!” to the police entering his door. Other neighbours began to gather around the home at that point.

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The police department made a statement on Facebook: "On Thursday. August 3, 2023, just after 8 p.m., the Anaheim Police Communications Center received reports of a shooting that occurred at a residence on the 8500 block of E. Canyon Vista Drive. Upon officers' arrival, they located 65-year-old Sheryl Ferguson inside the residence suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Sheryl Ferguson was pronounced deceased at the scene."

"Officers contacted Jeffrey Ferguson, an Orange County Superior Court Judge, at the location and arrested him for murder without incident. Jeffrey Ferguson was booked into the Anaheim Police Department's Detention Facility in lieu of $1 million bail. Detectives are not disclosing any additional details at this time because the investigation is ongoing."

Police arrest judge accused of murdering his wife in their homePolice arrived outside the home of a well-known judge in California and arrested him on suspicion of killing his wife (CBS news)

“I heard the judge shout, ‘I’m unarmed, but I’m not going to get on the floor,’” recounted another neighbour, Russell Ventura, who lives nearby. Another neighbour, John Poulter, said, “So many people in the neighbourhood flooded the street [afterward] and just kept repeating, ‘There’s no way he could have done this."

Sheryl Ferguson had worked for the Santa Barbara and Orange County Probation Departments before spending almost 20 years with the American Funds Service Co., according to her husband's public biography. The couple had two sons, Phillip and Kevin.

Susan Kang, a former chief of staff for Orange County’s district attorney, said, “I have always known Jeff to be someone who was devoted to his wife and his sons. Just a little while ago, they were at my house having dinner. To be shocked to hear Jeff was arrested for murdering Sheryl would be an understatement. I cannot wrap my mind around it. I am brokenhearted, especially for Phillip.”

Yelena Mandenberg

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