Judge

Judge Shot Dead in Driveway

Police are pretty sure they know who gunned down Maryland Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson. The suspect, 49-year-old Pedro Argote, is currently evading police but they’re expected to catch up with him soon. He allegedly shot Wilkinson to death in his driveway after losing custody of his kids in a divorce case.

Judge shot in driveway

It seems to police that Pedro Argote followed Judge Andrew Wilkinson to his home, then gunned him down in the driveway as he was getting out of his car. Earlier in the day, the jurist sat in judgment on Argote’s divorce action.

The suspect lost custody of his children as part of the judge’s decision but wasn’t in court to see it. As of Friday, October 20, Argote is considered their prime suspect. Since he seems to be actively avoiding them, they’re probably right.

The 52-year-old judge was still breathing when discovered “with gunshot wounds around 8 p.m. Thursday outside his home in Hagerstown.” They rushed him to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert held a press conference to explain that his deputies are “actively working” to get the suspect in custody.

Considering the circumstances, authorities consider Argote “armed and dangerous.” While refusing to specify the weapon used to shoot the judge, Sheriff Albert did confirm that the suspect “legally owned a handgun.

He might have other weapons they don’t know about. He apparently didn’t go home or they would have grabbed him.

Motive for the killing

Even though he wasn’t in court on Thursday, Argote knew that the judge wasn’t going to decide anything good for him. It seems that instead of attending the hearing, he staked out the courthouse, watching for his target to go home for the day.

As expected, Wilkinson gave custody of Argote’s children to his wife. When police found Wilkinson fatally shot, they called Argote just to say hello. They left messages on every number they could track to him and he didn’t call back.

Just as a precaution, with all sorts of political unrest going on from the Middle East to Capitol Hill, Maryland state troopers “were deployed to protect judges who live in Washington County.” Nobody is talking about protection for the ex-wife and kids.

Sheriff Albert noted that “he wasn’t aware of any previous threats” against Judge Wilkinson.

Nobody saw this one coming. Before Judge Wilkinson was assigned to the divorce case, it had been filed by Argote as the plaintiff, back in June of 2022. Argote doesn’t have a criminal record.

The only black marks against him before he whacked the judge in cold blood was that officers had “responded to the residence for verbal domestic assaults two times within the last few years.

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