INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Three judges involved in a May 1 shooting in downtown Indianapolis will face suspensions without pay followed by reinstatement, according to a decision by the Indiana Supreme Court.
As previously reported, judges Andrew Adams, Bradley Jacobs and Sabrina Bell were out socializing around 3 a.m. on the night of the incident and decided to walk to a nearby White Castle on South Street.
Court documents said that the judges were outside the restaurant, and that Bell was intoxicated at this time. Around 3:17 a.m., an SUV drove past the group and yelled something, allegedly prompting Bell to “extend her middle finger to the occupants of the SUV.”
Alfredo Vazquez parked the SUV and got out with Brandon Kaiser, and a fight ensued in which Adams and Jacobs were shot by Kaiser.
Kaiser and Vazquez left the scene after the incident but were later arrested and face multiple felony charges.
On Friday, Oct. 11, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed disciplinary charges against the three judges in connection with the altercation.
In the decision by the court, Adams, judge of the Clark County Circuit Court 1, will be suspended without pay for 60 days, effective immediately. Adams will then be reinstated to office at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, January 13, 2020.
Jacobs, judge of the Clark Circuit Court 2, will be suspended without pay for 30 days beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, and will be reinstated to office at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 23.
Bell, judge of the Crawford Circuit Court, is to be suspended without pay for 30 days, also beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, and will be reinstated at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 23, according to the court decision.
The Indiana Supreme Court said in the judgement:
This discipline terminates the disciplinary proceedings relating to the circumstances giving rise to these cases.
The court noted that Adams is already under interim suspension after pleading guilty in September to misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury. He was charged with three counts of misconduct by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications. Bell and Jacobs were each charged with two counts of misconduct.
Adams issued this statement:
“Today I received the order from the Supreme Court regarding my actions on May 1st and my suspension. I am thankful to the Indiana Office of Judicial Administration and the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission who worked with me from the beginning to resolve this matter. As a Judge we are held to a higher standard of conduct and on May 1st I failed to behave in a manner that my position requires. I am fully aware of the embarrassment I have brought to the Indiana Judiciary, my family and specifically my community. There is not a minute in the day that I don’t think about the significant repercussions my actions have caused. I take full responsibility for my actions as they neither met my expectations or the expectations placed upon me as a judicial officer. I again give my sincere apologies to the my family and my community. I am thankful this matter has come to a resolution and for all the prayers and support as I continue to recover from this incident. With God’s grace, I look forward to returning to work and continuing to serve our community. I hope that the community can accept my sincere apology and remorse for my actions.”
Jacobs issued a statement as well:
“I have been a fortunate person. I have an amazing wife, three wonderful daughters a father that loves me unconditionally and a brother who has always stood up for me and beside me. In January of 2015 the people of Clark County, Indiana also blessed me with the privilege to serve as Judge in the same Court that my father presided over when I was a child. On May 1, 2019 I nearly lost all of those things.
“Today, I submit myself to my family and my community and ask for forgiveness for my choices on that day. I wholeheartedly apologize for my behavior that evening that has embarrassed the Indiana Supreme Court, my fellow judges and all the members of my chosen profession. I cannot offer any excuses for the events of that evening, nor do I attempt to offer any excuses for those choices.
“I want to express my thanks to the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission and the Supreme Court for their willingness to accept my apology. I appreciate the Supreme Court’s willingness to give me the opportunity to continue to serve as judge and to demonstrate by my actions and deeds that I understand the error of my ways that evening. I will not disappoint any of you, my family, my friends or the individuals who appear before me and my community. I am blessed.”