'The glue that held our family together' - family mourns wife, mother allegedly slain by OC judge

Leanne Suter Image
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Family mourns wife, mother allegedly slain by OC judge
Judge Ferguson's attorneys advised him not to attend the memorial service for his late wife, whom he is accused of murdering.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- Friends and family members gathered Sunday to pay respects and say goodbye to Sheryl Ferguson, a woman who was allegedly murdered by her husband, an Orange County judge.

Judge Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, is accused of shooting his 65-year-old wife at their Anaheim Hills home on Aug. 3 after an argument. Prosecutors say the judge was drunk at the time.

His attorneys say the shooting was an accident.

Sheryl Ferguson's family issued a statement Sunday thanking the public for their support and asking for privacy as the memorial service was held at a synagogue in Irvine.

"We would like to thank everyone for their prayers and condolences. Sheryl's death is a tragedy and has significantly affected everyone who knew this lovely woman. Sheryl was a devoted mom, sister, and aunt, and was the glue that held our family together," the statement read.

"Given the complexity of the situation, our family's main focus is to make sure that Sheryl's son is supported and protected during this time. We ask that you respect our privacy. We have nothing further to say on the matter at this time."

Although the judge is out on $1 million bail, his attorneys say they advised him it would not be appropriate to attend the memorial service for his late wife.

"The service for Sheryl is meant to honor her memory and mourn her passing," said attorneys Paul Meyer and John Barnett. "We believe that Judge Ferguson's physical presence would be a distraction, and out of respect, and with his understanding, we have advised him not to attend or to express what we know are his sincere feelings. In spirit, he joins the friends and family in celebrating her life and in their grief."

On the program for Sheryl Ferguson's memorial service Sunday, the family asked in lieu of flowers for friends to support the Anaheim Hills Boy Scout Troop 538 or The Hillel at SMU.

OC judge charged with murdering wife confessed to killing in text, prosecutors say

An Orange County Superior Court judge has been charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of his wife at their Anaheim Hills home, prosecutors announced.

Court documents allege that after the shooting, Ferguson texted his court clerk and bailiff: "I just lost it. I just shot my wife. I won't be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I'm so sorry."

During the investigation, police served a search warrant and recovered 47 weapons and more than 26,000 rounds of ammunition from the home.