The following article, Republican-Appointed Judge Shot to Death on Driveway of His Own Home, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Judge Andrew Wilkinson was fatally shot in the driveway of his Hagerstown, Maryland, home Thursday night in what law enforcement referred to as a “targeted attack.”
Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert told CBS News that the suspected shooter was Pedro Argote, 49, who had lost custody of his children only hours earlier. Wilkinson had presided over the divorce case that led to the decision, Albert said. Argote was not present at the hearing.
Wilkinson was transported to nearby Meritus Medical Center, but did not survive the shooting.
The suspect, Argote, was said to be armed and dangerous, Albert told reporters Friday morning.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office posted a picture of Argote to social media, along with an image of a Mercedes station wagon similar to the one he was believed to be driving.
Maryland State Police told CBS that it had assigned trooper to protective details for other judges in the county “for precautionary reasons,” but Albert said Friday that law enforcement didn’t believe other judges were in danger of being targeted.
Nonetheless, local judges and other court personnel would receive enhanced protection, Circuit Court Administrative Judge Brett Wilson told CNN.
Wilkinson became a Washington County Circuit judge in January 2020, following an appointment from then-Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican.
He was in his own driveway and his wife and son were in the home when he was shot, Albert told CNN.
According to a post on X by former Republican State Delegate Neil Parrott, “Wilkinson was shot multiple times.”
“In an order issued Thursday, Wilkinson directed that there be no contact between Argote and his children or wife,” The Maryland Daily Record wrote Friday morning. “The judge also granted Argote’s wife sole use of the family’s home and ordered Argote not to enter the home. Argote was also ordered to pay $1,120 in child support per month, according to the order.”
Argote’s wife had filed for a protection order in June of last year, according to the Daily Record.
“I got in the middle and told him for him to get to her he needed to hit me or kill me,” she wrote, saying that she had sought assistance from domestic violence-related organizations as early as 2012. “I need help,” she wrote. “Physical violence is not the only kind of violence.”
She also wrote in that petition that Argote owned two or more firearms; a property list included a 9mm Glock pistol.
“The Maryland Judiciary mourns the tragic death of Judge Andrew Wilkinson,” the Maryland Judiciary said in a statement. “As we grieve his loss, we ask that you keep the Wilkinson family in your prayers and please respect their privacy.”
“Drew was an exceptional lawyer and a man who loved his family,” former law partner Jason Divelbiss said in a statement cited by CNN. “His wife and kids were always his highest priority and my thoughts go out to them at this horrible time.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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