Man charged with shooting judges claims self-defense

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — A man charged with shooting two southern Indiana judges outside of an Indianapolis fast food restaurant last year claims in a Tuesday court filing that he acted in self-defense.

The filing claims that Brandon Kaiser was pulling on a locked door and trying to enter a downtown White Castle when the judges approached him “in a hostile manner,” slammed him to the ground, choked him, beat him and kicked him in the head.

"The defendant, who was repeatedly beaten, choked and slammed around, was reasonable to fear that this assault would result in his death or injury," the notice of affirmative defense said.

Kaiser faces 14 charges, including four felony counts of aggravated battery, in connection with the May 1 shooting of Clark County judges Andrew Adams and Brad Jacobs.

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications announced disciplinary charges in October against Adams, Jacobs and Crawford Circuit Court Judge Sabrina Bell, who was also present during the incident.

The judges, who were in Indianapolis for a judicial conference, had been bar-hopping before going to the restaurant. They were outside the restaurant when Kaiser and his nephew Alfredo Vazquez drove by in an SUV. Court documents say one of the men yelled something out a window that prompted Bell to give them the middle finger. Vazquez parked the SUV and a verbal altercation turned violent.

Kaiser drew a weapon and shot Adams in the stomach, documents in the disciplinary and criminal cases say. Kaiser then shot Jacobs twice in the chest. Kaiser and Vazquez then drove away.

A jury trial has been scheduled for March 16.

A grand jury indicted Adams for his role in the fight. Adams, who admitted to kicking Kaiser, pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor count of battery but avoided jail time.

Vazquez was sentenced to 180 days on home detention and a year on probation for violating probation and for misdemeanor battery.

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