A prominent California judge, Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, was arrested last week on suspicion of murdering his wife, Sheryl Ferguson, 65, in their upscale Anaheim home. The Orange County Superior Court Judge was taken into custody on Thursday evening after police responded to reports of a shooting at their residence.
The Anaheim Police Department reported that officers arrived at the scene around 8 p.m. on August 3rd, where they discovered Sheryl Ferguson with at least one gunshot wound. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, she was pronounced dead at the scene. The police subsequently arrested Judge Ferguson, who was present at the home, without any incident. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and transported to the Anaheim Police Department’s Detention Facility. As of Friday morning, he was being held on a $1 million bond.
The authorities have not released any further details about the incident, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation. The couple resided in the 8500 block of E. Canyon Vista Drive, a plush neighborhood in Anaheim. The Los Angeles Times reported that a son of the Fergusons was present at the home during the shooting.
Judge Ferguson, a former U.S. Navy member, began his legal career as a deputy district attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He was promoted to senior deputy district attorney in the 1990s and had assignments with the Major Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Probation Offender Search and Seizure Enforcement Task Force. He served as president of the North Orange County Bar Association from 2012 to 2014 and was elected to the Orange County Superior Court bench on June 3, 2014.
During his tenure, he was named Prosecutor of the Year four times by the Orange County Narcotic Officers Association. However, his career was not without controversy. In 2017, he was formally rebuked by the Commission on Judicial Performance for a lewd comment he posted on his Facebook page about a judicial candidate.
The Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge Maria Hernandez expressed her condolences to Sheryl Ferguson’s family and assured that the court would comply with all legal and ethical obligations when the case is filed. She refrained from providing any further information due to the ongoing investigation.
The shocking incident has left the legal community in disbelief. An anonymous colleague of Ferguson’s told the Los Angeles Times that there were no known domestic issues between the judge and his wife. The colleague expressed shock, stating that the couple had been guests at their home and the incident was completely unexpected.