A judge who sits on Orange County Superior Court in Southern California was drunk when shot his wife dead earlier this month, prosecutors said.
Judge Jeffrey Ferguson, 72, is accused of fatally shooting his wife Sheryl during an argument in their Anaheim Hills home on August 3.
Ferguson pleaded not guilty to a murder charge on Tuesday.
The judge’s lawyer says it was an “accidental shooting.”
Jeffrey Ferguson with his wife Sheryl
Ferguson and his wife got into an argument at dinner and that’s when he “pointed his finger at his wife in a manner mimicking a firearm,” Orange County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Alex told the Los Angeles court on Tuesday.
The two continued to argue when they got home and that is when Ferguson retrieved his pistol from his ankle holster and shot his wife Sheryl in the chest one time.
Prosecutors said Ferguson reeked of alcohol when he was arrested by police and told them, “Oh man I can’t believe I did this.”
According to court documents, Ferguson texted his colleague after the shooting, “I just lost it. I just shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody. I’m so sorry.”
Ferguson’s case was moved to Los Angeles because of his professional relationships with judges in Orange County, KABC reported.
Ferguson was released on $1 million bail and will be back in court on October 30.
More on this story from KTLA 5: