We recently came across a story that was too good not to share. It sounds like the plot of a bad Hollywood movie, but hilariously and somewhat sadly, this is a retelling of real events that occurred involving three judges in Indiana.
The whole incident began back in May when a number of judges descended on Indianapolis for a statewide educational conference. Three judges decided to have a little bit of fun the night before the conference, and that’s when the craziness transpired. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, just hours before they were scheduled to attend the conference, three judges decided to try to head to a strip club around three in the morning. Andrew Adams, Bradley Jacobs and Sabrina Bell found to their dismay that the strip club was closed for the evening, so they decided to head to a nearby White Castle.
The trio waited outside the White Castle while another member of their party went inside, and according to the police report, Judge Bell raised her middle finger at two men in a passing SUV. The two men in the vehicle, later identified as Alfredo Vazquez and Brandon Kaiser, turned into the parking lot and got out of their vehicle to confront the trio. A physical altercation began between the four men, with Adams and Vazquez trading blows while Jacobs and Kaiser wrestled on the ground. Police say Kaiser then pulled out a gun, shot Adams once in the stomach and Jacobs twice in the chest. Both judges suffered serious wounds and needed emergency surgeries. Both survived, but Jacobs needed two weeks in the hospital to recover.
Bell told police that the incident was “all my fault,” although the Indiana Supreme Court wrote in an opinion on the matter that Bell “was intoxicated enough that she lacks any memory of the incident.”
Kaiser faces 14 charges stemming from the brawl, including four felonies, but the judges also faced repercussions for their actions. Both Jacobs and Bell were suspended 30 days without pay, and Adams, who pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery, was suspended for 60 days without pay. As part of his guilty plea, he was sentenced to 365 days in jail but required to only serve two.
The Indiana Supreme Court wrote that the trio of judges “gravely undermined public trust in the dignity and decency of Indiana’s judiciary.”
We’ve all made mistakes, and Kaiser clearly escalated the situation by pulling a firearm, but there was a series of really bad decisions made by people who are supposed to uphold the law. From a punishment standpoint, it really seems like they got off with a slap on the wrist, and it seems unlikely that anyone who has to face a trial in which one of these judges presides will be able to take them seriously.