UPDATE (November 1, 2019): Alfredo Vazquez was sentenced to 180 days of home detention for violating probation, and will serve an additional 353 days of probation for the misdemeanor battery charge (365-day sentence minus 12 days time served, suspended).
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed disciplinary charges against three judges Friday in connection with a fight outside an Indianapolis fast-food restaurant during which shots were fired and two judges were struck.
Judge Andrew Adams, who pleaded guilty in September to misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, was charged with three counts of misconduct. Judge Sabrina Bell and Judge Bradley Jacobs were each charged with two counts of misconduct.
The Commission says the judges “violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires him or her to act in a manner at all times that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary; to not engage in extrajudicial activity that undermines a judge’s integrity; and to comply with the law.”
The judges were out socializing at several places the night of the incident, according to court documents. Around 3 a.m. on May 1, they went to the Red Garter Gentlemen’s club and attempted to go in, but it had already closed for the night.
They decided to walk over to a nearby White Castle on South Street.
The judges were outside the restaurant while a magistrate went inside. The charging document says Judge Bell was intoxicated at this time.
“Outside the restaurant, Judge Bell, Judge Adams, and Judge Jacobs behaved in an injudicious manner,” according to the document.
At about 3:17 a.m., an SUV drove past the group and yelled something, allegedly prompting Judge Bell to “extend her middle finger to the occupants of the SUV.”
Alfredo Vazquez was driving and Brandon Kaiser was a passenger. It’s unclear who was the one who yelled or what was said.
Vazquez parked the SUV and both got out, and a physical altercation ensued. During the fight, Adams and Jacobs were shot by Kaiser. Kaiser and Vazquez left the scene after the incident but were later arrested.
Court documents show Bell never attempted to de-escalate the conflict and instead assisted in provoking the men.
The case against Kaiser continues, as he faces multiple felony charges.
On Friday, as part of a plea agreement, Vasquez pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury. All other charges have been dropped.
The Indiana Supreme court can dismiss the charges against the judges, accept or reject a disciplinary agreement between the Commission and each of the judges, appoint a panel of judges to conduct a public hearing, impose a fine, impose sanctions ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to a permanent ban on holding judicial office in Indiana.
Two felony counts that led to Adams’ suspension were dismissed under a plea agreement in which he received a one-year suspended sentence on Sept. 9. He has requested to be reinstated. Prior to these charges, Jacobs and Bell are currently still on the bench.