‘I Just Lost It’: California Judge Accused Of Murdering His Wife Allegedly Texted Staff Saying He Shot Her

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Kate Hirzel Contributor
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A California judge allegedly murdered his wife and confessed to the crime via text messages sent to his court clerk and bailiff, prosecutors revealed Friday.

The text read, “I just lost it. I just shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I’m so sorry,” according to The Associated Press.

Prosecutors have charged Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson with murder for allegedly shooting his wife, Sheryl Ferguson, on Aug. 3. In a search of the judge’s residence, authorities discovered a collection of 47 guns and over 26,000 rounds of ammunition, including the firearm allegedly used in the shooting. While these firearms were legally owned, the district attorney’s office has reported that a registered rifle is currently unaccounted for, per AP.

According to prosecutors, Jeffrey and Sheryl Ferguson had a heated argument at a restaurant that escalated after returning home, leading the judge to draw a pistol from an ankle holster and fatally shoot her in the chest, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Two Children Allegedly Witness Mom’s Murder, Live With Body For Three Days, Boyfriend Pleads Not Guilty)

The couple’s adult son dialed 911 and reported that his father had excessively consumed alcohol and had shot his mother, while Jeffrey Ferguson also made a 911 call in which he shared minimal details about the incident, according to the court filing, AP reported.

The filing also notes that officers smelled alcohol on the judge when they arrived at the scene and that he was reportedly heard saying, “Oh man, I can’t believe I did this,” per AP.

After being taken into custody and subsequently released on $1 million bail, Jeffrey Ferguson is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 1, the outlet reported. Prosecutors have charged him with murder and related weapons enhancements and are now seeking adjusted bail conditions, including surrendering his passport, wearing an ankle monitor and refraining from alcohol and firearm possession, according to AP.

Ferguson has been a judge since 2015 and oversees criminal cases in Fullerton, Orange County.