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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Judge shot and killed outside his home

Maryland police are hunting for a suspect in the killing of a judge, who was shot outside his home and later died in a hospital on Thursday. 

Police identified the victim as Washington County Circuit Court Associate Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, of Hagerstown.

The local sheriff’s office is looking for Pedro Argote, 49, who it says is armed and dangerous.

Police believe Mr Argote targeted the judge over a custody battle.

Judge Wilkinson had been presiding over a divorce case involving Mr Argote and held a hearing on Thursday morning, according to Maryland court records.

Maryland Judge Andrew Wilkerson was presiding over Argote’s divorce

The Washington County Sheriff’s office said Mr Argote did not attend the hearing, where the judge granted custody of the suspect’s children to their mother.

Deputies went to Mr Wilkinson’s residence after receiving reports of a shooting. The victim was found bleeding from gunshot wounds in his driveway.

The sheriff’s office said Judge Wilkinson’s wife and son were home at the time.

Mr Wilkinson became a judge in 2020, after working as a lawyer for more than 20 years, according to the Maryland State Archives. He was active in his church and coached youth sports.

As a precaution, law enforcement sent officers to the homes of other judges in the area to stand guard throughout the night. But the sheriff’s office believes Mr Wilkinson was the sole target.

The sheriff’s office said that Mr Argote does not have a criminal record, but they had visited his home in the past over domestic disputes.


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