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A Southern California judge has been arrested in connection with wife’s killing at their home

By AMY TAXIN
Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California judge has been arrested on suspicion of killing his wife in the couple’s home, authorities said Friday.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson was arrested late Thursday after police received reports of a shooting at the home and found the judge’s wife, Sheryl Ferguson, shot inside, said Anaheim police Sgt. Jon McClintock.

She was pronounced dead at the scene in the upscale neighborhood of Anaheim Hills. The 72-year-old judge was arrested and taken to jail. He is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to appear in court on Monday. He has not yet been formally charged.

McClintock said one other person was at the home at the time but declined to say who the person was or whether they were among the callers who notified police of the shooting.

It was not immediately possible to determine whether Ferguson has an attorney.

Ferguson serves as a judge handling criminal cases in a courthouse in the Orange County city of Fullerton. He previously worked in the Orange County District Attorney’s office, and prosecuted drug cases, according to the North Orange County Bar Association.

During his time as a prosecutor, he was honored as an “attorney of the year” by the association. He served as its president from 2012 to 2014.

“This is a very tragic situation for all involved,” Lorrie A. Walton, a current member of the association’s board, said in an email.

Ferguson took a seat on the bench in 2015. Two years later, he was admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance for posting a statement on Facebook about a judicial candidate “with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth of the statement” and for being Facebook friends with attorneys appearing before him in court, according to a copy of the agency’s findings. A message was left for his attorney on that issue, Paul S. Meyer.

Ferguson said on his Facebook page that he grew up in a military family and traveled throughout Asia as a child. He went on to attend college and law school in California. He and his wife were married in 1996.

He was previously married to another woman and they had a son. He and Sheryl Ferguson have another son together, said Juli Mitchell, the sister of his ex-wife.

On Friday, the Orange County Superior Court declined to provide additional information about the allegations.

“Although no case has been filed with our Court, when appropriate we will take all necessary steps to ensure full compliance with our legal and ethical obligations,” Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge Maria Hernandez said in a statement.

Article Topic Follows: ap-california-news

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