Suspended judge involved in shooting moves for reinstatement

The suspended Clark Circuit Court judge who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery for his role in an Indianapolis shooting that also wounded a second southern Indiana jurist has asked to be reinstated to the bench because doing so “is in the best interest of the Clark County judicial system.”

Clark Circuit Judge Andrew Adams filed a motion for reinstatement Monday in his judicial discipline case that was launched simultaneous to his grand jury indictment on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts stemming from the May 1 shooting in which Clark Circuit Judge Bradley Jacobs also was shot and initially critically wounded. Adams pleaded guilty earlier this month in Marion Superior Court to a single misdemeanor count of battery resulting in bodily injury and received no jail time or probation.

The Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Qualifications suspended Adams when he was charged in June, but so far there has been little public accounting of what led to his and Jacobs’ shooting or explanation of Adams’ conduct that resulted in criminal charges against him. The commission last week took the unusual step of publicly confirming it is investigating the shooting.

According to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Adams kicked alleged gunman Brandon Kaiser during the violent altercation. Kaiser faces 14 charges related to the shooting, the highest being a Level 3 felony charge of aggravated battery. His trial is currently set for Nov. 18, his nephew and alleged accomplice in the incident, Alfredo Vazquez, has been offered the same plea deal that Adams accepted, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office told Indiana Lawyer.

Adams is represented in his judicial discipline case by Indianapolis defense attorneys James Voyles and Jennifer Lukemeyer, who filed the motion for reinstatement. Voyles said the firm declined to comment.

“The sole reason for the Commission’s request for Judge Adams’ suspension was the pending felony that no longer exists,” the motion for reinstatement says. “Since his suspension from the bench, a senior judge has been presiding over Clark County Circuit Court 1. It is counsel(s’) understanding, the appointed judge, the Hon. Steven Fleece, desires to vacate the bench and resume his senior judge status.

“Judge Adams faces possible additional sanctions by this Court and should that sanction be further suspension, he feels obligated to prepare the Clark County Circuit Court 1 for another absence.”

In announcing Adams’ motion for reinstatement, the Indiana Supreme Court in a statement noted the judge remains suspended. “Procedural rules allow the Judicial Qualifications Commission an opportunity to respond to the motion. Any response would be noted on the chronological case summary (CCS)” for Adams’ discipline case.

Also charged in the shooting incident was alleged gunman Brandon Kaiser and Alfredo Vazquez, Kaiser’s nephew and alleged accomplice. Jacobs was not charged.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Adams was convicted only of Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury as to Kaiser.

The commission has yet to appoint hearing officers or special masters to hear Adams’ judicial discipline case, In the Matter of Hon. Andrew Adams, 19S-JD-386.

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