INDIANAPOLIS — Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 Judge Andrew Adams and two other men were indicted on charges of battery and disorderly conduct resulting from an early morning altercation and shooting in downtown Indianapolis in May, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Friday.
Adams and Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 Judge Brad Jacobs were shot during a May 1 fight with two other men in a White Castle parking lot near Lucas Oil Stadium. Adams received an injury to his colon, according to the indictment. Jacobs had his liver lacerated and ribs fractured. Jacobs was not indicted. Both men have since returned home. No motive is listed for the fight.
"The individuals who were involved are obviously sitting judges, fellow lawyers, but... if we look at any situation we have to view it just like we would every single situation if we're doing our jobs properly," Curry said.
Adams, 47, was indicted on seven counts by one of two Marion County grand juries, which met this week, to hear evidence on the argument that began around 3:20 a.m. May 1. The judges were attending a judicial conference hosted by the Indiana Supreme Court Office of Court Services.
Adams faces two felony counts of battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, two misdemeanor counts of battery resulting in bodily injury, two misdemeanor counts of battery and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
Also indicted were Brandon Kaiser, 41, allegedly the shooter, and Alfredo Vazquez, 24.
Kaiser was charged with 14 counts, including four felony counts of aggravated battery, and one misdemeanor count of carrying a handgun without a license. Vazquez was indicted on seven counts including six related to battery and one of disorderly conduct. Prior to this week's indictments, both men were arrested but ultimately released pending further investigation.
According to the indictments, Adams hit and wrestled with Vasquez and kicked Kaiser during the fight. Both Vazquez and Kaiser were left with substantial pain. The disorderly conduct charge arose from Adams intentionally fighting with both men.
"There was a fight which can potentially create issues of self-defense," Curry said. "There are limits, however, to asserting self-defense, one of which is the response to such force must be reasonable. In other words, it must be commensurate with the force that you're facing. You can't exceed or be unreasonable in your response."
Curry did not elaborate on which of the three suspects claimed self-defense. He said the issue of self-defense was studied in case the grand jury asked.
Twenty-two witnesses were called to testify before two grand juries. Among the witnesses were William Dawkins, magistrate in Jacobs' court. There was also surveillance video from the parking lot, of which police have released only a portion to the public.
In one of the two-day grand jury sessions, both with different residents serving, Vazquez and Kaiser were presented as targets of the investigation for which the judges were provided immunity and their testimony could not be used against them; in the second, the judges were the targets and Kaiser and Vasquez were given immunity.
"The grand jury that heard one matter did not know the result of the other grand jury," Curry said.
CLARK COUNTY COURTS
Following the shooting, the Indiana Supreme Court appointed two temporary judges to fill in for Adams and Jacobs until further notice. Senior Judge Steven M. Fleece was appointed to serve in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 for Adams and Senior Judge Kenneth Lopp was appointed to Clark County Circuit Court No. 2. After the indictment was announced, Adams was suspended with pay until the state's high court orders otherwise.
Adams declined to comment Friday. Jacobs and Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Vicki Carmichael, presiding judge for the county courts, said they were unable to speak about an ongoing investigation due to their role as judicial officers.
Adams was elected in November 2014. His court presides over higher level felony cases. In December, he started the Clark County Addiction Treatment and Support program, to help those on probation who have addiction or mental health issues out of jail.
"The problem-solving initiatives Judge Adams started to combat the drug crisis in our community have and will continue to operate in his absence," Carmichael said in a text message Friday, prior to the Supreme Court's ruling on his suspension. "He has continued his involvement in those programs during his medical leave as much as he was able to do so."
Adams has also worked with Floyd County Superior Court No. 3 Judge Maria Granger in the Veterans Court of Southern Indiana, since she founded it in 2011. Last year, the program expanded to Clark County. Granger said Friday there should not be interruptions to clients of the court in Adams' absence.
— News and Tribune reporters Aprile Rickert and Elizabeth DePompei contributed to this story