Things Turned Very Ugly for 3 Judges in a White Castle Parking Lot, and Now They've Been Suspended

Two of the judges ended up shot after a 3 a.m. drunken brawl outside the food fast spot.
White Castle signage informs customers that the Impossible Foods Inc. Slider is back in stock outside a restaurant on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

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Three Indiana judges were suspended without pay this week after the state’s supreme court determined it wasn’t exactly judicial to get involved in a 3 a.m. drunken brawl — and then a shooting — outside a White Castle minutes after the trio went to a local strip club and found it closed.

At least one of the judges admitted to being black-out drunk. They were all in Indianapolis that day for a judicial conference.


The judges — Andrew Adams, Bradley Jacobs, and Sabrina Bell — will undergo short, unpaid suspensions after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday they engaged in judicial misconduct when they got drunk and became “involved in a verbal altercation” that turned violent several months ago. Adams was the only judge to be criminally charged in the case, and he pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery last month.

Adams will be allowed to return as a judge to the Clark Circuit Court 1 on Jan. 13; Jacobs and Bell can return to their Clark and Crawford county courts, respectively, on Dec. 23.

The judges were hanging out in the wee hours of May 1 when they tried to get into a downtown strip club. After seeing it was closed, they went to a nearby White Castle. One magistrate they were with went inside, but Adams, Jacobs, and Bell remained outside. At that point, two men — Alfredo Vazquez and Brandon Kaiser — drove past them in an SUV and shouted something, and Bell gave them the middle finger. (Bell was too intoxicated to remember the incident, according to court documents, but surveillance footage showed her flipping the guys off.)

That led to a “profane verbal altercation that quickly turned into physical violence,” according to court documents. Jacobs “contained” Kaiser on the ground, according to the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision, and Adams kicked Kaiser in the back. Then Kaiser pulled out a gun and shot Adams once in the abdomen, and shot Jacobs twice in the chest. Both men required emergency surgery.


After that, the Judicial Qualifications Commission announced it had opened an investigation into the incident.

Kaiser was charged with 14 crimes, including felony aggravated battery, and his jury trial is scheduled for January, according to the Indianapolis Star. Vazquez, meanwhile, was sentenced to 180 days of home detention over probation violations and misdemeanor battery on Nov. 1.

The judges expressed remorse and said the White Castle brawl was an “isolated incident,” according to court documents. The Supreme Court notes the unpaid suspension isn’t a minor sanction because it will permanently blemish the judges’ records.

When Judge Bell extended her middle finger to a passing vehicle, neither Judge

Adams nor Judge Jacobs discouraged the provocation or removed themselves from the situation,” the Indiana Supreme Court wrote in its ruling Tuesday. “Instead, all three Respondents joined in a profane verbal altercation that quickly turned into physical violence and ended in gunfire, and in doing so, gravely undermined public trust in the dignity and decency of Indiana’s judiciary.”

Cover: White Castle signage informs customers that the Impossible Foods Inc. Slider is back in stock outside a restaurant on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)