California Judge Arrested After Wife Found Dead

( – A recent arrest on suspicion of murder could call into question Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson’s long and distinguished career as a prosecutor and judge. On Thursday, August 3, Anaheim police responded to a call at the Ferguson residence, where they found Sheryl Ferguson, 65, the judge’s wife, dead on the scene with at least one gunshot wound.

Neighbors reported hearing officers using a bullhorn, telling Judge Ferguson, 72, to come out of the house and surrender. An incident report from the Anaheim Police Department indicated that officers arrested Ferguson without incident at the property. Authorities booked the judge into the department’s detention facility on Thursday, held pending $1 million bail. According to Orange County Sheriff’s Department records, Ferguson posted bail on Friday.

Law enforcement sources who spoke anonymously to the Los Angeles Times told reporters that one other person was in the home when police arrived on the scene. He remained uninjured. One of Ferguson’s adult sons, Phillip Ferguson, called the police and tried performing CPR on his mother but couldn’t save her.

Neighbors reported seeing police remove several rifles from the home to the back of an unmarked SUV. Officers also reportedly removed several boxes of ammunition. Friends and neighbors expressed shock, telling reporters the act was completely out of character for Ferguson.

Ferguson and his wife both worked in various capacities for Orange County. In 1983, Ferguson began his legal career as an assistant district attorney for the Orange County District Attorney’s office. He spent over 30 years as a decorated DA working on major narcotics enforcement.

Susan Kang, a former DA’s office colleague, said she had known the Fergusons since 1999. She told the Los Angeles Times how devoted her friend always was to his wife and sons and expressed heartbreak, shock, and bafflement at the alleged crime.

Ferguson first ran for the Superior Court judge position in 2014 and took office in 2015. Sheryl Ferguson worked for the Orange County and Santa Barbara probation departments. The couple shared two sons, Phillip and Kevin, reported the Los Angeles Times.

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