Orange County judge arrested in fatal shooting of wife at Anaheim Hills home, police say

Saturday, August 5, 2023
What we know about the OC judge accused of killing his wife
An Orange County Superior Court judge has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of his wife at their home in Anaheim Hills.

ANAHEIM HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- An Orange County Superior Court judge has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of his wife at their home in Anaheim Hills, authorities confirmed Friday.

Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, was taken into custody on suspicion of murder, the Anaheim Police Department said in a statement.

The shooting was reported shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday at a residence in the 8500 block of East Canyon Vista Drive, the news release said. The house is in a neighborhood just south of the 91 Freeway.

Officers arrived to find 65-year-old Sheryl Ferguson suffering from at least one gunshot wound, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers contacted Jeffrey Ferguson at the location and arrested him without incident, according to investigators. He was booked into the Police Department's detention facility and was being held on $1 million bail. Online jail records show he was released at 2:05 p.m. Friday after posting bond.

A booking photo, showing Ferguson in a orange jumpsuit, was released by authorities.

WATCH: Colleagues shocked over OC judge's arrest for allegedly killing his wife in Anaheim Hills

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson was arrested after police received reports of a shooting and found the judge's wife shot inside their home, police say.

"Detectives are not disclosing any additional details at this time because the investigation is ongoing," the statement said.

Anaheim police confirm firearms and multiple boxes of ammo were removed from the home but would not disclose how many or what type.

Residents near Canyon Vista Drive knew something serious had taken place at the home, which many referred to as "The Judge's House," when police helicopters started circling over their homes.

Angela Herrmann lives a few houses down.

"You can hear everything up here. The way the hills are. It's pretty quiet. I never hear anything until I heard a scream last night at that moment," Herrmann said. "A man was screaming. He said, 'Don't shoot me.'"

Herrmann added that she then heard a big yell she said came from a man.

"I'm flabbergasted. I'm really devastated for this poor woman and the whole family," Hermann said.

Just hours before his wife's death, the judge shared a photo of his wife on his Facebook page. The Facebook memory from 10 years ago had the caption: "I like that look!"

After the shooting witnesses, like Russell Ventura, said Ferguson was sitting outside the home and a young man, who they said is their son, was talking to Anaheim police.

"I hope that the son is able to come out of this OK because he lost his mom and his dad at the same time," Ventura said.

"Judge Ferguson was a phenomenal person. We're all in shock about this," said attorney Lloyd Freeberg, who has known Ferguson for close to 50 years.

Like almost everyone at the North Justice Center in Fullerton - where the judge worked - Freeberg said he's absolutely stunned that Ferguson is accused of murdering his wife.

"He was a loving person," Freeberg said. "He wanted to help people in his role as a judge and he did that for an awful lot of people, and frankly this is pretty devastating news."

Cindee Proctor, the owner of Blondie's Bail Bonds, said she's dealt with Ferguson on a number of occasions since he started service as a judge at the Fullerton courthouse in 2015.

"I can't believe this is happening because he was just a good soul, a good man who actually cared about people," Proctor said.

Supporters of Ferguson said they just can't make sense of this news.

"There's gotta be more to this story, because this is a man who's dedicated his entire life to the law," Terri Garrett said.

Garrett said she's an addict and was actually sentenced by Ferguson years ago. She credits him for helping her stay clean for more than 10 years.

"Our thoughts go to the family. We all pray for their comfort during this trying time," Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge Maria Hernandez said in a statement. "Although no case has been filed with our Court, when appropriate we will take all necessary steps to ensure full compliance with our legal and ethical obligations."