Pedro Argote, suspect in Judge Andrew Wilkinson’s murder, had recommended a friend’s gun shop in a Facebook post in 2021.
Pedro Argote, the prime suspect in the case, is considered highly dangerous, and a manhunt is underway to locate him. Argote, 49 years old, is approximately 5 feet 7 inches in height, weighing around 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He is believed to be driving a silver 2009 Mercedes GL450 bearing Maryland license plates, adding urgency to the ongoing search, as declared by the sheriff’s office.
The tragic incident occurred when Judge Wilkinson, presiding as a county circuit court judge, was shot outside his residence. His wife and son were at home during the incident. The 52-year-old judge was discovered with gunshot wounds at approximately 8 p.m. in the city of Hagerstown, Maryland. He was promptly transported to a medical facility, where, regrettably, he succumbed to his injuries, as confirmed by the sheriff’s office.
Notably, Argote had not attended the divorce hearing that took place earlier on the same Thursday, as confirmed by Albert.
In response to this shocking tragedy, security measures for judges in Washington County have been significantly escalated. Maryland State Police deployed troopers to protect judges residing in the area out of precaution. The court where Judge Wilkinson served has reinforced its security infrastructure to a “high level,” with a heightened focus on ensuring the safety of all judges and court personnel, as stated by Circuit Court Administrative Judge Brett Wilson.
Recent incidents, including the targeted killing of a Wisconsin judge and threats against judges overseeing high-profile cases, such as the federal election interference case, exemplify the alarming reality that judges and the justice system are increasingly vulnerable to acts of violence and intimidation.