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“I just shot my wife”

Investigators say they seized 47 guns and more than 26,000 rounds of ammunition from the Southern California home of a judge accused of killing his wife during an argument. Prosecutors said Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, pulled one of the guns from an ankle holster and shot Sheryl Ferguson, 65, in the chest a short distance from his home in Anaheim Hills. Court documents filed this week say the judge sent a text message to his clerk and bailiff, the Los Angeles Times reports “I just lost it. I just shot my wife. I’m not coming in tomorrow. I’m going to be in custody,” the record says he told them. “I’m so sorry.”

According to reports, the pair had argued earlier at a restaurant and resumed when they got home, for the New York Times. At one point, Sheryl Ferguson said something like, “Why don’t you point a real gun at me?” according to court documents. An adult son who was there performed CPR on his mother without success. She called 911 and told the dispatcher that her father had been drinking. The judge also called 911 to say his wife needed a paramedic, the filing says.

Charges filed Friday against Ferguson include one count of murder, one count of enhanced personal use of a firearm and one count of enhanced discharge of a firearm causing serious bodily injury and death . After officers arrived, a body camera recorded him saying, “I guess I’m done for a while.” California’s constitution disqualifies judges accused of a crime from serving. Ferguson was arrested, spent a night in jail and was released after posting $1 million bail. “This is a tragedy for the entire Ferguson family,” their lawyers said in a statement, according to the AP. “It was an accident and nothing more.” (Read more murder charges stories.)


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