Clark County judge, two suspects indicted in Indianapolis shooting

Clark County judge shot during fight at White Castle indicted by grand jury

INDIANAPOLIS (WAVE) – A Clark County judge shot at an Indianapolis White Castle in May has been indicted by a grand jury on seven counts, including battery.

Image from surveillance video of the SUV and the two men involved the May 1 shooting of two Clark County judges in downtown Indianapolis. (Source: indianapolis Police)
Image from surveillance video of the SUV and the two men involved the May 1 shooting of two Clark County judges in downtown Indianapolis. (Source: indianapolis Police)

Judge Andrew Adams is charged along with two others for their role in the fight that happened in the parking lot, leading to the shooting of Judge Adams and Judge Brad Jacobs.

The quarrel that led to the shooting between the two men and Judges Jacobs and Adams happened at a White Castle near Illinois and South streets around 3:30 a.m. on May 1.

Days later, investigators released video of the suspects, later identifying them as Alfredo Vazquez and Brandon Kaiser. At the time, the Marion County Prosecutor declined to charge Kaiser and Vazquez, releasing them and calling for further investigation into the case.

With these indictments, that’s all changing.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Friday that Alfredo Vazquez, 23, Brandon Kaiser, 41, and Adams were indicted by Marion County, Ind. grand juries.

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Vazquez was indicted on seven counts including battery resulting in moderate bodily injury and disorderly conduct. Kaiser was indicted on 14 counts, including aggravated battery, battery with a deadly weapon, carrying a handgun without a license and disorderly conduct.

Adams was indicted on seven counts, including battery and disorderly conduct.

The indictment came as startling news to many in the county.

Local attorney Brian Butler said an indictment is not an indication of guilt. The grand jury will consider only one side of the argument, and wouldn't consider if use of force is reasonable or justified.

“A grand jury is deciding to file charges based on, often, one side of the case, and they’re also basing that decision without any cross-examination,” Butler said. "They’re basing that decision on a very low standard, which is probable cause.”

In cases of fights, Butler said it can be hard to prosecute.

“Those are difficult cases for the prosecutor to prove because the quote unquote “victim” clearly was an aggressor, I mean he turned around and shot them,” Butler said.

Butler said the charges don’t sit well with him.

"Now, Judge Adams has to face this legal process when he was clearly the victim of a violent crime," Butler said.

Bulter said Adams faces the lowest level of a felony in Indiana.

“Those cases are routinely amended throughout the state of Indiana to misdemeanors or diversions, where the case is ultimately dismissed if they stay out of trouble,” Butler said. “There’s so many options other than felony and not guilty at trial.”

No charges will be filed against Jacobs, the grand jury decided.

Court documents allege both judges were shot by Kaiser during the fight. Kaiser faces the most serious charges.

Curry said they’re currently working with all attorneys to arrange terms for surrender.

“I would anticipate that arrangements will be made with all parties involved for the individuals to surrender themselves next week, and I can only presume early next week,” Curry said.

Following the charges filed against Judge Adams, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed a notice that it intended to suspend Judge Adams with pay.

Temporary judges had already been appointed to serve in Judge Adams and Judge Jacobs’s courtrooms following the shooting. They will remain on the bench.

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