A California judge was arrested Thursday after the fatal shooting of his wife in their Anaheim home.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, was charged with the murder of his wife, 65-year-old Sheryl Ferguson, the Anaheim Police Department said in a news release.
On Thursday, police received reports of a shooting that occurred shortly before 8 p.m. at a residence on the 8500 block of E. Canyon Vista Drive on the eastern outskirts of Anaheim.
Officers were dispatched to the location, where police said they discovered Sheryl Ferguson inside the home, suffering from at least one gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Anaheim police said they contacted Judge Jeffrey Ferguson at the home and “arrested him for murder without incident.”
The judge was booked into the Anaheim Police Department’s Detention Facility with $1 million bail.
Police said they are not releasing any more details at this time because an investigation is ongoing.
A neighbor who did not want to be identified told local news station KTLA that the judge had lived in the home with his wife for more than 20 years. The neighbor also told reporters he witnessed Ferguson being taken away in handcuffs and said police told him that Sheryl was the victim.
Ferguson has served as an Orange County Superior Court judge since 2015. His current term is scheduled to end on Jan. 4, 2027. Before winning the election in 2014, Ferguson served more than three decades in the Orange County Deputy District Attorney’s office, during which he worked on the Major Narcotics Enforcement Team, according to the North Orange County Bar Association. Ferguson was president of the association from 2012 to 2014 and was named prosecutor of the year four times by the Orange County Narcotics Officers Association.
In 2017, Ferguson was publicly admonished by the state Commission on Judicial Performance for ethics violations concerning Facebook comments he made about another judicial candidate and for being Facebook friends with attorneys who were appearing regularly before him in court.
The watchdog panel said Ferguson violated judicial ethics by posting a comment “with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth of the statement.” The panel also said it was “improper” for him to be Facebook friends with criminal defense attorneys who had cases pending and were regularly appearing before him in court. Ferguson said he promptly unfriended the attorneys after he was contacted by the commission.