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A reward is being offered for a suspect wanted in the fatal shooting of a Maryland judge

by Michael Nguyen
3 comments
Airport Protests

A reward is being offered for information leading to the apprehension of a suspect believed to be responsible for the fatal shooting of Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson in Hagerstown, Maryland. The U.S. Marshals Service is seeking public assistance and has authorized a reward of up to $10,000 in connection with this case.

Judge Wilkinson, aged 52, tragically lost his life in a targeted attack that occurred in his driveway on Thursday night. This violent incident followed his decision earlier that day to grant custody of the suspect’s children to his wife during a divorce case. Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert has identified the wanted individual as Pedro Argote, aged 49.

Authorities have reason to believe that Pedro Argote may be driving a silver 2009 Mercedes GL 450 bearing Maryland license plates. Furthermore, Argote is known to have connections to various areas beyond Maryland, including Brooklyn and Long Island, New York; Tampa and Clearwater, Florida; Columbus, Indiana; and undisclosed cities in North Carolina.

It is essential to note that Pedro Argote is considered “armed and dangerous,” emphasizing the urgency of locating and apprehending him.

Judge Wilkinson had presided over the divorce proceeding involving Argote earlier on the same Thursday. However, Argote was conspicuously absent from the courtroom. The judge’s decision to grant custody to Argote’s wife at the hearing is believed to have been the motive behind the fatal shooting. Additionally, the judge had issued an order prohibiting Argote from having any contact with the children and mandated a monthly child support payment of $1,120.

Hagerstown, a city with a population of nearly 44,000 residents, is situated approximately 75 miles northwest of Baltimore.

In recent years, judges across the United States have faced threats and, in some cases, violence. President Joe Biden took action last year by signing a bill to provide continuous security protection to the families of Supreme Court justices, following a security breach involving the leak of a draft court opinion regarding the Roe v. Wade abortion-rights decision. This incident had led to protests outside the homes of conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices.

In June 2022, a retired Wisconsin county circuit judge, John Roemer, was tragically killed in his own home in what authorities describe as a targeted attack. During that same month, a man was arrested near the residence of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Maryland, found carrying a gun, a knife, and zip ties while making threats against the justice’s life.

Regrettably, in 2020, a men’s rights lawyer, known for his anti-feminist writings, posed as a FedEx delivery person and fatally shot the 20-year-old son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, also injuring her husband at their New Jersey residence. Fortunately, Judge Salas herself was unharmed.

In August, a Texas woman faced charges for threatening the life of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was overseeing a significant case related to accusations of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election loss by former President Donald Trump in Washington. These incidents underscore the importance of safeguarding the judiciary and ensuring the safety of judges and their families.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Manhunt

What is the background of this incident?

Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson was fatally shot in Hagerstown, Maryland, following a custody ruling in a divorce case where he awarded custody to the suspect’s wife.

Who is the suspect in this case?

The suspect in this case is Pedro Argote, a 49-year-old individual who is believed to be responsible for the targeted attack on Judge Wilkinson.

What is the reward being offered?

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of Pedro Argote.

Are there any leads on the suspect’s whereabouts?

Authorities suspect that Pedro Argote may be driving a silver 2009 Mercedes GL 450 with Maryland license plates. He also has connections to various areas outside of Maryland.

What was the motive behind the shooting?

The motive for the shooting is believed to be the judge’s decision to grant custody of Argote’s children to his wife during the divorce proceeding. Additionally, the judge had ordered Argote to have no contact with the children and pay monthly child support.

How dangerous is the suspect?

Pedro Argote is considered “armed and dangerous,” emphasizing the urgency of locating and apprehending him.

Has there been any similar incidents involving judges recently?

Yes, judges across the U.S. have faced threats and, in some cases, violence in recent years. This incident highlights the need for safeguarding the judiciary and ensuring the safety of judges and their families.

More about Manhunt

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3 comments

CryptoChamp October 22, 2023 - 2:44 am

dang, crazy world we live in, judges at risk, scary stuff.

Reply
PoliticsGuru October 22, 2023 - 11:03 am

Sad to see judges being targeted, security is paramount.

Reply
CarGeek October 22, 2023 - 12:50 pm

Even judges ain’t safe these days, sad reality.

Reply

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