WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Sheriff’s deputies released a picture of a person wanted in connection to the killing of a Washington County Circuit Court judge that took place at the judge’s home in Hagerstown Thursday night.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) said deputies went to the house in the 19100 block of Olde Waterford Rd. around 8 p.m. after they received reports of a shooting.
Deputies found Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, of Hagerstown, in the driveway of his home. He appeared to have been shot and was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.
On Friday, WCSO said the person believed to be involved in the deadly shooting was Pedro Argote, 49, of Frederick, Md.
The description of Argote that accompanied the release of his picture said he is 5’7” tall and weighs 130 lbs. Argote has black hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a silver 2009 Mercedes GL450 with Maryland plates 4EH0408.
The online court system for Washington County Circuit Court showed that Argote had a divorce case before Wilkinson and that a hearing related to the case took place earlier in the day on Thursday.
At a news conference Friday morning, Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert said that Wilkinson gave custody of Argote’s children to Argote’s wife. Argote, himself, was not at the hearing Thursday.
The Maryland Judiciary released a statement about Wilkinson’s death:
The Maryland Judiciary mourns the tragic death of Judge Andrew Wilkinson. As we grieve his loss, we ask that you keep the Wilkinson family in your prayers and please respect their privacy. The Maryland Judiciary is actively engaging with law enforcement to assist in resolving this matter and to ensure the safety of our judges, staff, and visitors, which remains our top priority.Maryland Judiciary statement on death of Judge Andrew Wilkinson
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin offered his sympathy to Wilkinson’s family and others who may be affected by the killing:
I offer my condolences to Judge Wilkinson’s family, friends and all those touched by his public service. No one should have to endure the anguish of having a loved one ripped away in such a manner. There is no excuse for this kind of violence, especially against an officer of the court. The rule of law is what makes our society work. It may not be perfect, but individuals like Judge Wilkinson worked to make it better and more just every day. His passion clearly was for serving his local community and for this, Judge Wilkinson will be sorely missed.U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) of Maryland