According to court documents, Jeffrey Ferguson, the Orange County judge who allegedly texted a confession to court officials after killing his wife in front of their son, confessed incoherently to the Anaheim police officers who responded and begged them to shoot him.
Investigators were informed by the son who purportedly observed the shooting that his parents had been arguing for the majority of the evening and that his father had been drinking extensively.
“The shooting stemmed from an argument that began earlier that same evening,” prosecutors wrote in a bail motion. “While arguing at dinner (at a restaurant nearby their residence), Defendant pointed his finger at his wife…in a manner mimicking a firearm.”
The arguing continued at home, and Sheryl Ferguson told her husband, “Why don’t you point a real gun at me?” prosecutors alleged.
At that point, Ferguson is charged with removing a.40-caliber Glock handgun from an ankle holster and shooting his wife once in the chest.
“He shot her at close range,” Deputy District Attorney Chris Alex wrote in a bail motion. “He did so while intoxicated. His adult son witnessed the homicide.”
She died from her injuries after their son dialled 911 and tried to perform CPR on her.
“Shortly after Son’s 911 call, Defendant himself called 911 to report (vaguely) that his wife had been shot,” prosecutors wrote. “When asked whether he shot his wife, Defendant responded that he did not want to talk about it now.”
But, according to the lawsuit, he continued to speak to the responding cops in slurred words with a drunken stench.
He urged them to shoot him first. After that, he made “a few spontaneous statements.”
“What the f— did I…well I guess I’m gone for a while,” he allegedly told officers in part of the exchange. “Oh my God…my son…f— me…what an a–hole I am.”
The projectile was found in a wall behind Sheryl Ferguson’s body, and one expended casing was found in front of her. Additionally, they took more than 26,000 rounds of ammunition and 47 lawfully held firearms, including rifles, shotguns, and handguns, from Ferguson’s home.
Prosecutors claimed that defence attorneys found one more rifle. Unaccounted for is a 0.22-calibre rifle.
Prosecutors claim that Ferguson also confessed to his bailiff and court clerk over text message sometime after the shooting.
“I just lost it,” he wrote, according to authorities. “I just shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I’m so sorry.”
According to the prosecution, both of them believed it was a joke.
Ferguson served as a deputy district attorney for more than 30 years before being appointed as an Orange County Superior Court judge in 2015.
“He faces (and, by virtue of his employment, is fully aware he faces) the realistic prospect that he will die in prison if convicted,” Deputy District Attorney Chris Alex wrote in the bail motion.
Ferguson was released earlier this week after entering a not guilty plea to the allegations of murder and possession of a handgun. His release is subject to conditions, including a prohibition on entering airports and bars, a requirement that he give up his passport, and a prohibition on drinking.
On October 30, he must return to court for a preliminary hearing.