JEFFERSONVILLE — The spokesperson for two Clark County judges shot last week in Indianapolis says their conditions are improving and that they appreciate the support they've received from the community.
Attorney Larry Wilder fought back tears at times when addressing the media Monday afternoon outside of the Clark County courthouse where he provided an update on judges Drew Adams and Brad Jacobs. The two men were shot just before 3:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a White Castle in downtown Indianapolis last Wednesday, while in town for a judicial conference. The shooting is believed to be a random act of violence not related to their role as judges.
Wilder said the judges are receiving all the messages from supporters.
"They're not in a situation to be able to [respond] right now, but they're hearing them and everybody's telling them what's going on with the folks back home and how much love that everybody feels for them," Wilder said.
He said this was evidenced in part by the number of people who turned out Wednesday night at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Jeffersonville for a prayer vigil for the two judges.
"It's a statement of character about the type of people Brad and Drew are," he said. "And it tells you the effect they've had on the community.
"The gift of the community back to them speaks volumes, I think."
While he was initially listed in critical condition, Jacobs has improved to stable at this point, along with Adams. Wilder said he's met with both judges and their families, and said they have been up and walking around — although it will be a while before they can return to work.
"They'll be back on the bench," Wilder said. "The question is, will it be two months, three months?"
He added that due to the level of injuries sustained, Jacobs may remain hospitalized longer than Adams, who could be back home in Clark County as early as the next few days.
"I think Brad has a little longer road to travel than Drew in Indianapolis for his recovery," he said. Adams is being treated at IU Health Methodist Hospital, and Jacobs at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi.
The Indiana Supreme Court will be appointing judges to fill in for Adams and Jacobs during their absence. Wilder said that some senior judges were already in place during the days last week that Clark County judges were to be at the judicial conference.
Wilder also wanted to pass along that the specialized courts Adams presides over will continue to operate without intermission during his recovery. Adams and Floyd County judge Maria Granger both preside over the Veterans Court of Southern Indiana, and Adams also started the Clark County Addiction Treatment and Support Program in December.
"He is making sure provisions are being made to ensure that his recovery programs go forward and continue," Wilder said, adding that Adams wants to make sure that the interim judge and community understands that those who are part of the programs "have come to rely on that as their lifeboat in their recovery from substance abuse."
Indianapolis Metro Police released a video Friday from surveillance at the scene, to get the public's help in identifying the suspects who pulled up to White Castle and minutes later allegedly shot the two judges.
Wilder said details of the investigation will not come from him, but from police, as it is available.
"The police are handling all that and... we know Indianapolis police are going to do their job and they're going to do it well."
Wilder said he didn't talk with the judges about what had happened prior to the shots being fired.
"My two friends, our two judges were shot and they fought for their lives," he said. "They're getting better but until they're home with us, that's not what's important."