The Indiana Supreme Court imposed an interim suspension Thursday on a southern Indiana judge arrested on a felony for hitting someone while a child watched.
The high court acted against Circuit Judge Sabrina Bell of Crawford County after it received a “Notice of Criminal Charges and Request for Suspension” from the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications. The interim suspension with pay was effective immediately.
Indiana State Police arrested Bell on Thursday on a charge of domestic battery in the presence of a child less than 16 years old. The charges stem from an incident that occurred in Crawford County on April 12.
Bell was booked into the Crawford County Jail and has since been released on pre-trial conditions, police said.
According to an affidavit for probable cause filed as "Exhibit A" with the request for suspension, Bell struck her ex-husband in the face during a verbal argument.
Bell’s interim suspension “remains in effect until further order of the Court or final determination of any disciplinary proceedings, if any, that may arise from the criminal charges,” the Supreme Court said.
The Commission on Judicial Qualifications is the 7-member group that investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges. Chief Justice Loretta Rush chairs the Commission. The Indiana Supreme Court has final authority over judicial discipline.
Bell served a 30-day suspension in 2019 for her involvement in a downtown Indianapolis fight and double-shooting that followed a night of bar-hopping.