The Indiana Supreme Court suspended Judges Andrew Adams, Sabrina Bell, and Bradley Jacobs after a drunken incident at a White Castle in May.
Here is what happened:
At around 12:30 a.m. on May 1, Respondents and Clark Circuit Court Magistrate William Dawkins (“Magistrate Dawkins”) met at a local bar, where they continued to drink alcohol. At around 3:00 a.m., the group walked to a strip club and tried to enter, but found that it was closed.
The group then walked to a nearby White Castle. While Magistrate Dawkins went inside, Respondents stood outside the restaurant. At around 3:17 a.m., Alfredo Vazquez and Brandon Kaiser drove past the group and shouted something out the window. Judge Bell extended her middle finger to Vazquez and Kaiser, who pulled into the White Castle parking lot and exited the vehicle. Judge Bell, who was intoxicated, has no memory of the incident but concedes that the security camera video shows her making this gesture.
A heated verbal altercation ensued, with all participants yelling, using profanity, and making dismissive, mocking, or insolent gestures toward the other group. At no time did Respondents move to another location in the parking lot to avoid a confrontation or de-escalate the conflict.
After a verbal exchange between Judge Bell and Vazquez, a physical confrontation ensued. At one point, Judge Jacobs had Kaiser contained on the ground. With his fist raised back, Judge Jacobs said, “Okay, okay, we’re done, we’re done,” or “This is over. Tell me this is over,” or words to that effect. At another point during the confrontation, Judge Adams kicked Kaiser in the back. The confrontation ended when Kaiser pulled out a gun, shot Judge Adams once, and shot Judge Jacobs twice.
Adams received “two emergency surgeries, including a colon resectioning.” Jacobs stayed in the hospital for 14 days after his two emergency surgeries.
Adams had a blood alcohol level of 0.213. Jacobs’ blood alcohol level peaked at 0.177.
Bell did not have hers tested, but officials knew she had a few drinks because she could not remember the incident.
Authorities charged Kaiser “with 14 crimes, including eight felony charges — four of which are Level 3 felony aggravated assault.”
His nephew, Vazquez, “faces six counts of low-level felony and misdemeanor charges, including two counts of Level 6 felony battery.”
The Indiana Supreme Court concluded that the judges “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.”
The Court stated the judges “were not merely embarrassing on a personal level; they discredited the entire Indiana judiciary.” They suspended the three judges:
The Court orders that Andrew Adams, who already is under an interim suspension, shall be suspended without pay from the office of Judge of the Clark Circuit Court 1 for sixty (60) days, effective immediately. The suspension shall terminate and the Judge shall automatically be reinstated to office at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, January 13, 2020.
The Court orders that Bradley B. Jacobs shall be suspended from the office of Judge of the Clark Circuit Court 2 without pay for thirty (30) days commencing at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 22, 2019. The suspension shall terminate and the Judge shall automatically be reinstated to office at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 23, 2019.
The Court orders that Sabrina R. Bell shall be suspended from the office of Judge of the Crawford Circuit Court without pay for thirty (30) days commencing at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 22, 2019. The suspension shall terminate and the Judge shall automatically be reinstated to office at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 23, 2019.