A California judge who stands accused of fatally shooting his wife in front of their son sent a chilling text to his staff seemingly confessing to having pulled the trigger.
Orange County judge Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, was charged last week for allegedly killing his wife, Sheryl, at their Anaheim Hills home on Aug. 3.
Prosecutors claimed in court papers the judge had sent the shocking message to his court staff, including a bailiff and his court clerk.
“I just lost it. I just shot my wife,” Ferguson texted, according to the charging document. “I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I’m so sorry.”
Prosecutors said Ferguson’s staff at first didn’t know what to make of his bizarre message.
They claim Ferguson had pulled his Glock .40 pistol from an ankle holster and shot his wife in the chest at close range.
Their adult son also was present and called 911, prosecutors said. Sheryl Ferguson was pronounced dead at the scene.
When patrol officers arrived at the home, Ferguson was still wearing the ankle holster and smelled of alcohol. According to prosecutors, police body cameras showed Ferguson cussing and slurring his words.
“What the f—k did I … Well, I guess I’m done for a while. S—t me … S—t me .. S—t … Oh my God. My son … My son… F—k me. What an asshole I am, Jesus Christ,” the judge allegedly said in the presence of the cops.
Prosecutors said Ferguson and his wife Sheryl had an argument while they were eating dinner at a restaurant near their home.
During that argument, the judge allegedly pointed his finger at his wife “in a manner mimicking a firearm.”
When they returned home the fight continued, with Sheryl Ferguson allegedly saying to her husband, “Why don’t you point a real gun at me?”
Investigators said the judge then took his gun out the holster and shot her.
Prosecutors said the couple’s son told investigators he had never seen any instances of domestic violence between his parents before, but “he also reported that he has witnessed many arguments and that Defendant tends to be more heated when he drinks.”
The son also said his mother had witnessed Ferguson place a gun to his head before, but she had talked him out of committing suicide.
After spending one night in jail, Ferguson was released on $1 million bond under several conditions, including he must wear a GPS ankle monitor and must remain in Orange, Riverside or Los Angeles counties.
Ferguson has been charged with first-degree murder and faces two sentencing firearm-related enhancements for a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in state prison.
Last week, the California State Attorney’s Office cleared the Orange County DA’s Office to prosecute the case.
However, the Orange County presiding judge determined the case should be tried in front of a Los Angeles-based judge because of Ferguson’s local ties.
Ferguson is scheduled to appear tomorrow at Los Angeles criminal court.
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