Three judges involved in a fight at an Indiana White Castle in May, which ended with two of the judges shot, have been suspended without pay after the Indiana Supreme Court determined they committed judicial misconduct.
In an opinion issued Tuesday, the court said judges Bradley Jacobs, Andrew Adams and Sabrina Bell "engaged in judicial misconduct by appearing in public in an intoxicated state and behaving in an injudicious manner and by becoming involved in a verbal altercation."
Adams' whole blood-alcohol level was approximately 0.157 upon admission to the hospital, and Jacobs' was approximately 0.13, according to the opinion. Bell's blood-alcohol level was not tested, "but she was intoxicated enough that she lacks any memory of the incident," per the opinion.
Additionally, Adams and Jacobs "engaged in judicial misconduct by becoming involved in a physical altercation for which Judge Adams was criminally charged and convicted," the court said in its opinion.
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Adams, who was the only judge criminally charged in the case, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery in September. He received a sentence of 365 days in jail, a credit for two days served. The remaining 363 days of the sentence were suspended, meaning Adams served no additional jail time.
All three judges received suspensions but will eventually return to their offices. Adams was suspended without pay for 60 days beginning Tuesday, the court said. He will be reinstated as judge of the Clark Circuit Court 1 on Jan. 13.
Jacobs and Bell will both be suspended without pay for 30 days beginning Nov. 22. They will be reinstated to their respective courts in Clark and Crawford counties on Dec. 23.
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Jill Acklin, court administrator for Clark Circuit Courts, said in an emailed statement that the Clark County Judiciary respects Indiana Supreme Court's opinion on the matter.
"We will fully cooperate with and are ready to assist the senior judges assigned to those courts during the suspensions of Judges Adams and Jacobs," Acklin said in the statement.
"Respondents’ actions were not merely embarrassing on a personal level; they discredited the entire Indiana judiciary," the court said in the opinion.
Vazquez, according to the charges, then parked his SUV. After he and Kaiser exited the vehicle, a verbal altercation ensued, court documents said. It then turned violent when Adams and Jacobs moved toward Vazquez and Kaiser, the commission said.
Adams and Vazquez both hit and kicked each other, according to court documents, while Jacobs and Kaiser mostly wrestled on the ground. "At one point, Judge Jacobs was on top of Kaiser and had him contained on the ground," the charging documents said.
Vazquez then tried to get Jacobs off of Kaiser, the commission said. As Jacobs began to get up, Vazquez started fighting him, court documents said.
After Kaiser began to sit up, Adams kicked him in the back, the commission said. Kaiser then pulled out a gun and shot Adams in the stomach, according to court documents. The commission says Kaiser then "went over to Judge Jacobs and Vazquez and fired two more shots at Judge Jacobs in the chest."
Kaiser and Vazquez then allegedly fled the scene.
Jacobs and Adams both had two emergency surgeries after the fight, and Jacobs was hospitalized for two weeks, the opinion says.
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Charges for Kaiser and Vazquez
Kaiser was charged with 14 crimes, including eight felony charges – four of which are Level 3 felony aggravated battery. He has a jury trial scheduled for January, according to online court records.
Vazquez was sentenced Nov. 1 to 180 days of home detention and a year of probation for violating probation and for misdemeanor battery stemming from the May 1 fight. Vazquez was on probation for a drunken driving conviction entered just two weeks before the White Castle incident.
"I am remorseful," Vazquez said in court. "I feel bad."
No criminal charges were filed against Jacobs.
Contributing: Vic Ryckaert, IndyStar. Follow Andrew Clark and Crystal hill on Twitter: @Clarky_Tweets @crysnhill
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indiana White Castle fight: Three judges suspended after drunken brawl