The son of a federal judge has been shot dead and her husband critically wounded after they were attacked at their home by a gunman dressed as a FedEx driver.
The attack happened at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge, in North Brunswick, New Jersey, on Sunday evening.
The shooting came days after the judge was assigned a case with links to Jefferey Epstein, although there is not yet any suggestion that the attack is linked her work.
The attack began at around 5pm when Mark Anderl answered the front door to the family home. He was shot several times.
Daniel, a student at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., then went to investigate the commotion and was fatally shot.
The perpetrator, believed to be a lone gunman, then fled the scene and is not yet in custody,
The judge’s 20-year-old son Daniel Anderl was killed, and her defense attorney husband Mark Anderl, 63, was critically injured.
Last week, on July 15, the judge was assigned to a case that had links to late sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein.
The case Salas is presiding over involves as ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor ‘high-risk’ customers including convicted sex offender billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
But her highest-profile case in recent years was the financial fraud case involving husband-and-wife Real Housewives of New Jersey reality TV stars Teresa and Joe Giudice, whom Salas sentenced to prison for crimes including bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion.
Salas staggered their sentences so that one of them could be available to take care of their four children.
In 2017, she barred federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against an alleged gang leader charged in several Newark slayings, ruling the man’s intellectual disability made him ineligible for capital punishment.
Salas later sentenced the man, the leader of the Newark Bloods street gang to 45 years in prison.
She has also dealt with cases involving members of the Grape Street Crips according to NJ.com. The case was connection with a long-running drug-trafficking network that was taken down by the FBI in 2015.
Judge Salas had received death threats in the past but as of Sunday night, authorities have not suggested the shootings are linked to any of her previous cases.
‘As a judge, she had threats from time to time, but everyone is saying that recently there had not been any,’ said Mayor Womack to ABC News, who is both friends with the judge and her husband.