3 Indiana judges suspended after a night of drinking turned into a White Castle brawl

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INDIANAPOLIS — Three Indiana judges have been suspended without pay for their involvement in an intoxicated fight outside a White Castle, according to court documents.

An opinion from the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the three judges — Andrew Adams of the Clark Circuit Court 1, Bradley B. Jacobs of the Clark Circuit Court 2 and Sabrina R. Bell of the Crawford Circuit Court — engaged in judicial misconduct by participating in the brawl in the restaurant’s parking lot in Downtown Indianapolis.

“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,” Jacobs said in a statement read by his attorney to reporters.

An attorney for Adams declined to comment to CNN on the case. 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,” the Indianapolis Star reported. “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,” the Star quoted Adams as saying in his statement.

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Bell.

Adams, Bell and Jacobs arrived in Indianapolis for a statewide judicial educational event on April 30 and began to drink and socialize, the document said.

At around 3 a.m. the next morning, the judges walked together to a strip club, the document said. But the club was closed and they walked to a nearby White Castle restaurant.

While they were standing outside in the White Castle parking lot, two men drove by and shouted something at the three judges out of the window of their vehicle. Bell flipped off the men, the document said, and they pulled into the lot and the five began to argue.

The document said Bell was intoxicated at the time and has no memory of the incident or what was said to incite it.

The verbal argument then turned physical, with Jacobs bringing one of the men to the ground and Adams kicking him in the back. The fight ended when the man pulled out a gun, shooting Adams once and Jacobs twice, the document said. The men were taken to local hospitals and underwent emergency surgeries.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that by engaging in the conflict, the judges fell short of their directive to “aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence.”

Adams was suspended without pay for 60 days and Jacobs and Bell for 30 days.

One of the suspects, who shot the judges, is scheduled to go on trial in January on a number of charges, including felony aggravated battery.

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