Judicial commission investigating shooting involving judges

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications is investigating the May 1 shooting that left two Clark County judges wounded and one convicted of misdemeanor battery, the Indiana Supreme Court confirmed Wednesday.

A court spokeswoman said the JQC is investigating the shooting outside of a downtown Indianapolis White Castle that put Clark County Judges Andrew Adams and Bradley Jacobs in the hospital. Adams pleaded guilty this week to misdemeanor battery against one of the other men charged in the incident, Brandon Kaiser.

Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25(VIII)(B) generally prohibits the disclosure of a JQC investigation, but an exception allows the commission to “disclose the existence of an investigation to assure that the proper administration of justice is being safeguarded.”

“Given the public exposure of the incident and Judge Andrew Adams’ September 9, 2019 guilty plea, the Commission is taking the rare step to disclose that an investigation into the incident is ongoing,” spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan wrote in an email to Indiana Lawyer. “While the specifics of the investigation will not be revealed unless and until formal charges are brought, the Commission is taking the necessary steps to conduct a proper, speedy, and appropriate disposition of this matter.”

Adams will not serve any jail time as a result of his plea, for which he received a suspended one-year sentence with no probation. Jacobs was not charged in the shooting, but along with Kaiser, Alfredo Vazquez is still facing felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from the incident.

The JQC moved to suspend Adams on June 28, the same day he was indicted by a Marion County grand jury. That suspension remains in effect, the court said.

Senior Judge Steven M. Fleece has been presiding over Adams’ court, Clark Circuit Court 1.

Watch for more on the fallout from the May 1 shooting in the Sept. 18 issue of Indiana Lawyer.

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