3 judges face ethics charges in White Castle shooting that injured 2 of them; what sparked the confrontation?
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An Indiana judge raised her middle finger at two men who yelled something from an SUV before the men became involved in a fight outside a White Castle with two of her fellow judges, according to ethics complaints filed Friday against all three judges.
The judge accused of raising her finger is Sabrina Bell of Crawford County, and the judges accused of fighting with the two men are Andrew Adams and Bradley Jacobs of Clark County. Adams and Jacobs were shot and seriously injured in the confrontation.
The three judges were in Indianapolis for a judicial conference the day of the fight. They had visited several bars before going to the White Castle in the early morning hours of May 1.
In September, Adams pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery for kicking the alleged gunman and was sentenced to 365 days in jail. The other judges were not criminally charged.
The alleged gunman, Brandon Kaiser, and his nephew, Alfredo Vazquez, are facing felony and misdemeanor battery charges in the fight. Kaiser faces the more serious felony charges, include level 3 felony aggravated assault, according to the Indianapolis Star.
According to the ethics complaints, Vazquez and Kaiser parked their SUV after Bell gave them the finger. A “heated verbal altercation” began with “all participants yelling (including using profanity) and making dismissive, mocking or insolent gestures toward the other group,” according to the ethics complaints.
Adams and Jacobs then started moving toward Kaiser and Vazquez, and “a physical confrontation ensued,” the ethics complaints say.
During most of the confrontation, Adams and Vazquez were hitting and kicking each other, the ethics complaints say. Several times the contact would dissipate, then the two men would begin fighting again.
Jacobs and Kaiser primarily wrestled with each other on the ground. At one point, Jacobs had his fist raised and remarked, “We’re done,” or, “This is over,” records show.
Vazquez came over and tried to get Jacobs off Kaiser. Jacobs began to get up, and Vazquez started a physical fight with Jacobs, the complaints say.
With Jacobs off him, Kaiser began to get up. At that point, the complaints say, Adams came over and kicked Kaiser in the back.
Kaiser then allegedly pulled out his gun and shot Adams in the stomach. Kaiser then went over to Jacobs and allegedly fired two more shots, striking Jacobs in the chest, according to the complaints.
Bell told police at the scene that she felt like the fight was all her fault, although she later told police in recorded statements that she didn’t know what sparked the confrontation, the ethics complaints allege.
All three judges are accused of failing to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary and engaging in extrajudicial activity that undermines a judge’s integrity. Adams is also accused of failing to comply with the law.
ABAJournal.com: “2 judges attending judicial conference are shot and wounded in White Castle parking lot”
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