The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended three judges for the roles they played in a fight that occurred back in May that left two of them shot and seriously wounded. The incident occurred after two male judges — Andrew Adams of the Clark Circuit Court 1 and Bradley B. Jacobs of the Clark Circuit Court 2 — and one female judge — Sabrina R. Bell of the Crawford Circuit Court — went out drinking for a few hours and decided to walk to a strip club.
Finding the strip club closed, they then stopped at a White Castle, where two men in an SUV shouted at the judicial trip, prompting Bell to hold up her middle finger at them, according to an Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary ruling.
A drunken brawl then erupted between the men and two of the judges, who were shot and seriously wounded. In a hearing on Tuesday, the Indiana Supreme Court temporarily suspended all three judges without pay. "Respondents' actions were not merely embarrassing on a personal level; they discredited the entire Indiana judiciary," the state Supreme Court said its ruling.
The ruling said that judges engaged in judicial misconduct and behaved in "an injudicious manner" during the unruly spectacle in downtown Indianapolis. The court also found that Adams and Jacobs engaged in further judicial misconduct "by becoming involved in a physical altercation for which Judge Adams was criminally charged and convicted."
In a statement red by his attorney to reporters, Jacobs "wholeheartedly" apologized. "I wholeheartedly apologize for my behavior that evening that has embarrassed the Indiana Supreme Court, my fellow judges and all the members of my chosen profession. I cannot offer any excuses for the events of that evening nor do I attempt to offer any excuses for those choices," the statement said.
In a statement to local media, Adams apologized to his family and community, acknowledging that he had "failed to behave in a manner that my position requires," as reported by the Indianapolis Star.
I am fully aware of the embarrassment I have brought to the Indiana Judiciary, my family and specifically my community. There is not a minute in the day that I don't think about the significant repercussions my actions have caused. I take full responsibility for my actions as they neither met my expectations or the expectations placed upon me as a judicial office," Adams said in the statement.