Authorities find Vehicle linked to suspect in Maryland judge’s fatal shooting

Maryland judge's fatal shooting

Maryland judge’s fatal shooting: Authorities warned the public to be on the lookout on Saturday as they continued their hunt for the guy after discovering the car the suspect in the shooting death of a Maryland judge had been using.

Several hours after the judge dissented in a divorce case, Pedro Argote, 49, is suspected of shooting the judge to death in his driveway. The silver Mercedes SUV that Argote was supposed to be driving, according to a statement on Facebook from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, was discovered in a forested area in Williamsport, about 8 miles south of Hagerstown, where the judge was shot outside his home.

The sheriff’s office issued a statement saying, “Anyone with information on Argote’s location should immediately notify law enforcement.”

Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, of the Circuit Court was shot on Thursday night, only hours after giving his wife custody of Argote’s kids. Brian Albert, sheriff of Washington County, described it as a “targeted attack.”

The hunt for Argote is involving local, state, and federal law enforcement organizations, according to Albert at a news conference on Saturday.

Albert declared it’s only a matter of time before we catch this person.

A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered by the U.S. Marshals Service for information that results in Argote’s capture.

The Marshals Service said in a news release late on Friday that Argote has connections to numerous places outside of Maryland, including Columbus, Indiana; Brooklyn and Long Island, New York; Tampa and Clearwater, Florida; and unidentified cities in North Carolina.

According to Albert, Argote is “armed and dangerous.”

Argote’s divorce case had been heard by Wilkinson earlier on Thursday, but Albert noted that Argote was absent from the hearing. The sheriff claimed that the homicide was motivated by the fact that the judge had granted Argote’s wife custody of his children during the hearing. In addition, the judge had mandated that Argote cease all contact with the kids and pay $1,120 in child support each month.

Nearly 44,000 people live in Hagerstown, which is located roughly 75 miles northwest of Baltimore.

In recent years, threats and occasionally violence have been directed at judges all around the United States. Following the leak of a draft court opinion overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, which sparked protests outside the homes of conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices, President Joe Biden last year signed a bill to provide round-the-clock security protection to the families of Supreme Court justices.

John Roemer, a former Wisconsin county circuit judge, was assassinated in his home in June 2022 in what the police claimed to be a targeted killing. In the same month, a guy who was armed with a revolver, a knife, and zip ties was detained in Maryland close to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home after making a killing threat.

The 20-year-old son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas was shot and killed at their New Jersey home in 2020 by a men’s rights attorney with a history of anti-feminist writings, who had pretended to be a FedEx delivery person. Her husband was also injured. Salas was unharmed.

A Texas woman was charged in August with making a death threat against U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is in charge of the Washington case accusing Donald Trump of attempting to rig the 2020 election results.

Credits: USA TODAY

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