INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- A Clark County judge and two other men are facing charges in connection with a shooting last month outside of a White Castle in downtown Indianapolis.
On May 1, judges Brad Jacobs and Andrew Adams were shot outside the White Castle just before 3:30 a.m.. Both were in town for a conference and have since recovered from their wounds.
Witnesses told police the judges and two other people visited several downtown restaurants and bars. They ended up at a bar adjacent to the White Castle but found out it was closed. While outside the White Castle, the two judges and another person stood near the building while the fourth person went inside the restaurant.
Police said a vehicle pulled into the lot and parked; people from the vehicle tried to get into the restaurant but discovered it was locked. The two groups exchanged words and a fight ensued. Shots were then fired at that point, according to court documents.
Surveillance video was acquired and a portion of that was released to assist in identifying the suspects. The full video has not been released.
On May 5, Brandon Kaiser and Christopher Vazquez were arrested in connection with the case.
On May 10, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry’s office said no charges were being sought against the suspects at that time, saying more evidence was needed.
On Friday, Curry held a press conference in which he called it a "complicated" case and said two grand juries were impaneled to look into the shooting.
“We appreciate those in the public, media, and the involved parties for their patience in this matter. Progress in the investigation did not halt on May 10, but rather entered into a strictly confidential phase in order to present a fair and thorough investigation to two independent Marion County Grand Juries,” Curry said.
All four people involved in the case could have potentially been considered as suspects, so they were granted use immunity, allowing them to testify without incriminating themselves and without the court using information in their testimony to prosecute them.
One Marion County grand jury returned indictments against Kaiser (14 counts) and Vazquez (seven counts). A separate Marion County grand jury returned an indictment against Adams on seven counts. The same grand jury declined to indict Jacobs.
- Kaiser faces four counts of felony aggravated battery, two counts of felony battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of felony battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, two counts of misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, two counts of misdemeanor battery, one count of misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
- Vazquez faces charges of two counts of felony battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, two counts of misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
- Adams faces two counts of felony battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, two counts of misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Prosecutor Curry said possible claims of self-defense by all four men made a charging decision difficult, but added there are limitations to claims of self-defense.
“Those are matters we have presented to the grand jury in the past to sort out because those are such fact sensitive subject or issue,” said Curry. “You cannot exert self-defense if you’re the initial aggressor or if you willingly enter into mutual combat.”
Curry said judge Jacobs has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, but added that Adams profession as a judge did not make him immune from the law.
“Our aggravated assault units investigates hundreds of cases each year and they treat each one of them the same. They follow the evidence and hold accountable those that need to be held accountable,” said IMPD deputy chief Chris Bailey.
Curry expects the suspects to surrender themselves early next week.
Separate prosecuting teams are expected to handle the cases--one for Vazquez and Kaiser and a separate one for Adams.
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed a motion to have Adams suspended with pay, citing Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25(V)(A) of the Indiana Rules of Court:
“A judicial officer shall be suspended with pay by the Supreme Court without the necessity of action by the Commission upon the filing of an indictment or information charging the judicial officer in any court in the United States with a crime punishable as a felony under the laws of Indiana or the United States.”
That motion was granted Friday evening, effective immediately.