Prosecutors claim that Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson texted: "I just lost it." I just killed my wife. I'm not coming in tomorrow. I'll be detained. I'm very sorry."
Ferguson, 72, was arrested last week after his adult son contacted 911 to report that his 65-year-old mother had been shot at their Anaheim Hills home, according to a news release issued by the Orange County District Attorney's office on Friday.
When cops arrived, they discovered Sheryl Ferguson dead with at least one gunshot wound, according to ABC7.
During a search warrant at Ferguson's residence, officers discovered 47 firearms, "including rifles, shotguns, and handguns, as well as more than 26,000 rounds of ammunition," according to the DA.
According to a court document obtained by ABC7, Ferguson shot his wife with a Glock.40 after threatening her "earlier in the evening by making a hand gesture indicative of pointing a gun at her."
Ferguson's attorneys, Paul Meyer and John Barnett, did not react promptly to Insider's request for comment.
"This is a tragedy for the entire Ferguson family," Meyer and Barnett said in a brief statement, declining to answer questions. It was nothing more than an accident."
According to court records, Ferguson has been charged with three counts: criminal murder, personal discharge of a handgun inflicting grievous bodily harm and death, and personally utilizing a firearm.
According to the DA's office, he was released on a $1 million bond with a variety of restrictions, including not drinking or owning firearms.
Ferguson has served on the bench since 2015. He handles criminal cases in Fullerton, Orange County.
He began his legal career in the Orange County district attorney's office in 1983 and later worked on narcotics cases, for which he received numerous accolades. From 2012 to 2014, he was president of the North Orange County Bar Association.
According to a copy of the Commission on Judicial Performance's findings, Ferguson was chastised in 2017 for posting a statement on Facebook about a judicial candidate "with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth of the statement" and for being Facebook friends with attorneys appearing before him in court.
Ferguson stated on his Facebook profile that he was raised in a military household and traveled extensively around Asia as a child. He went on to California for college and law school. His wife and he married in 1996.