California Judge Accused of Shooting Wife to Stand Trial for Murder

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson will stand trial for allegedly murdering his wife, Sheryl Ferguson

Published Time: 21.06.2024 - 07:31:04 Modified Time: 21.06.2024 - 07:31:04

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson will stand trial for allegedly murdering his wife, Sheryl Ferguson.

According to the Associated Press, the decision was made after a preliminary hearing before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Eleanor J. Hunter on Thursday, June 20. Hunter determined there was sufficient evidence for the case to proceed.

Ferguson was previously charged with one felony count of murder, one count of felony enhancement of personal use of a firearm, and one count of felony enhancement of discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death after police discovered his 65-year-old wife dead at their home on Aug. 3, 2023, per a press release.

According to court records previously reviewed by PEOPLE, on the night of Sheryl's death, the two had an alcohol-fueled argument that began at a restaurant and continued for more than an hour when the couple returned home from dinner.

After allegedly pointing his fingers “in a manner mimicking a firearm," Sheryl allegedly said, "Why don’t you point a real gun at me."

Per court records, he then took out a loaded .40-caliber pistol from his ankle holster and shot her “at close range” through “the center chest." The alleged incident was witnessed by their adult son, who called 911 shortly after 8 p.m.

According to The Los Angeles Times, at Thursday's hearing, O -

fficer Joshua Juntilla of the Anaheim Police Department testified that while officers tried to revive Sheryl, Ferguson "let off a string of expletives" before saying, "What did I do? My son will hate me forever. Can you have my son come over here and punch me in the face? I deserve it. I got everything I got coming."

In a statement to PEOPLE, Ferguson's attorney, T. Edward Welbourn, told PEOPLE that "this was a terribly tragic event for the whole Ferguson family, including Judge Ferguson."

"Sheryl is and was the love of his life and he would never do anything intentional to hurt her or cause her harm. What happened that evening was an unfortunate accident, not a murder. Judge Ferguson maintains his innocence and looks forward to the truth coming out," the statement continued.

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Jeffrey is currently out on a $1 million bond, and scheduled to be arranged on July 5, per the Associated Press.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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