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Clark County Judge Adams indicted as result of May 1 shooting

June 28, 2019

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

Clark Circuit Judge Andrew Adams has been indicted on seven counts and is facing suspension from the practice of law as a result of the May 1 early morning shooting in downtown Indianapolis that left him and Clark Circuit Judge Bradley Jacobs severely injured.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced the indictment against Adams, as well as Brandon Kaiser and Alfredo Vazquez, Friday at his office. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed a request that Adams be suspended with pay a short time later.

Kaiser, 41, was indicted on 14 counts, including four counts of aggravated battery as a Level 3 felony, and two counts of battery with a deadly weapon as a Level 5 felony. Adams and Vazquez were indicted on identical charges including two counts of battery resulting in moderate bodily injury as a Level 6 felony and two counts of battery resulting in bodily injury as a Class A misdemeanor.

The grand jury declined to file charges against Jacobs.

Larry Wilder, the Jeffersonville attorney who has been serving as a spokesman for Adams and Jacobs, did not respond to a request for a comment by IL deadline.

Curry said his office is coordinating with the attorneys representing Adams, Kaiser and Vazquez to arrange their surrender, which he anticipates will happen early next week.

Curry repeatedly called this case complex and declined to release many details, but he did hint at what contributed to the difficulty.

“In situations where it appears to us that self-defense will be a potential issue, it’s not unprecedented that those are matters that we have presented to the grand jury in the past to let the grand jury sort it out because that is such a fact-sensitive subject,” Curry said. “Once we reviewed everything, as I said, we felt there was just any number of possible results or conclusions that could flow from a jury reviewing the evidence that was presented.”

For this case, the prosecutor said a second grand jury was empaneled June 7, in addition to the grand jury that is regularly empaneled. This is the first time Curry said he could recall that a second grand jury has been convened. Evidence was presented to both grand juries this week.

Also, according to Curry, all four individuals were granted use immunity solely to provide testimony for the proceeding in which they were the alleged victims.

“In reviewing all the information and evidence that had been provided to us, it was our opinion that there were numerous significant legal and factual issues arising from this investigation,” Curry said. “Depending upon how those issues were resolved, it was possible for a variety of results, including the possibility that all four individuals involved in the incident could be charge with a crime.”

According to the indictment of Kaiser, he was charged with aggravated battery for shooting at or against Adams and Jacobs with a firearm and knowingly inflicting injury.

Adams’ charges came from hitting and wrestling Vazquez in a manner that resulted in bodily injury and kicking Kaiser, according to the indictment. Likewise, Vazquez was charged with hitting and kicking Adams and Jacobs.

Friday afternoon, the JQC filed a motion to suspend Adams with pay.  

The commission filed a Notice of Criminal Charges and Request for Suspension against Adams immediately upon learning of the felony indictment, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Friday.

The request asks that Adams be suspended with pay from his position as judge of Clark Circuit Court 1 pending further order of the court or a final determination of any disciplinary proceeding that may result from the criminal charges.

Curry could not provide any details on what happened May 1 other than to say there was a fight.

As previously reported, Adams and Jacobs were outside a White Castle restaurant near downtown Indianapolis. The pair were in town to attend the Spring Judicial Conference.

The judges were taken to the hospital, treated and eventually returned to their Clark County homes to recover a little more than two weeks after the shooting. Other than a few text messages from Jacobs to some of his friends, the judges have not spoken publicly.

Indianapolis residents Kaiser, 41, and Vazquez, 24, were arrested a few days later for their alleged roles in the shooting. However, after appearing in court, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office declined to press charges and the two men were released.

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