Tragedy struck on Thursday night when a Maryland judge was fatally shot outside his residence in Hagerstown. Court records reveal that the judge had presided over the divorce case involving the man suspected in his killing.
The Washington County Sheriff’s office is actively searching for 49-year-old Pedro Argote in connection with the death of 52-year-old Andrew Wilkinson. The shooting occurred around 8 p.m., on Olde Waterford Road, where Wilkinson was found with gunshot wounds. He was rushed to Meritus Medical Center, but tragically, he did not survive. A homicide investigation is currently underway.
Local resident Susan Porter expressed her profound sorrow, describing the incident as “horrible” and a “horrifying loss.”
Pedro Argote is considered armed and dangerous, and the public is urged not to approach him but to immediately contact 911. Argote is described as being 5’7″ tall, weighing 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a silver 2009 Mercedes GL450 SUV with Maryland license plates 4EH0408.
Court records indicate that a domestic violence petition involving Argote was filed in June 2022, but it was subsequently dismissed at the petitioner’s request.
Andrew Wilkinson served as a Washington County Circuit Court Associate Judge and had presided over a hearing in Argote’s divorce case earlier that Thursday morning. The case had been filed the previous summer, as documented in court records. Notably, Argote was absent from the hearing.
The motive behind the shooting remains unclear, prompting the Maryland State Police to take precautionary measures by deploying troopers to protect judges residing in Washington County. Law enforcement officials have stated that the shooting appears to have been a targeted incident, although further details are pending.
Wilkinson’s neighbors, while declining on-camera interviews, have shared their grief over the loss. The tragic incident serves as a poignant reminder of the impact of gun violence on communities.
Washington County deputies confirmed that Wilkinson’s wife and child were inside their Hagerstown home at the time of the shooting and fortunately were unharmed.
In an effort to expedite the search for Argote, the U.S. Marshals Service has announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Argote is believed to have connections to several locations outside of Maryland, including Brooklyn and Long Island in New York, Tampa and Clearwater in Florida, Columbus, Indiana, and unidentified cities in North Carolina.
The Maryland Judiciary has expressed its deep condolences for Wilkinson’s tragic death. They have requested that the Wilkinson family be kept in everyone’s thoughts and prayers while urging respect for their privacy. The Maryland Judiciary is actively collaborating with law enforcement to assist in resolving the matter and ensure the safety of judges, staff, and visitors, emphasizing their top priority.
Wilkinson’s profile on the circuit court’s website reveals that he was born in Guam in 1971. He later attended the University of North Carolina before earning his law degree from Emory University. Wilkinson was actively involved in coaching several youth sports leagues in the area and had been a member of the St. Ann Catholic Church since 1985. Before serving as a judge, he was an Assistant Washington County Attorney from 2006 to 2012 and a member of the Character Committee of the State Board of Law Examiners from 2006 to 2019. He joined the court in January 2020.
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