OC Judge Pleads Not Guilty as More Details of Wife’s Killing Emerge

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson was back in the courtroom Tuesday — this time, as a criminal defendant. He pleaded not guilty to a murder charge stemming from the shooting of his wife Sheryl Ferguson on Aug. 3.  

Ferguson’s lawyer says the shooting was an accident. The defense will have to square that claim with a text message Ferguson allegedly sent to his court clerk and bailiff the night of the shooting.

"I just lost it,” Ferguson admitted, according to court documents. “I just shot my wife. I won't be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I'm so sorry."

The Fergusons’ adult son was in the home that evening and told officers his father had been drinking. The court documents state Ferguson had threatened his wife earlier that night. Officers later discovered 47 weapons and 26,000 rounds of ammunition inside the home. 

The case has been moved to Los Angeles County due to Judge Ferguson’s ties to the Orange County legal system. A court hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 30 to determine whether Ferguson will stand trial.