Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, was shot on the driveway of his home in Hagerstown, Maryland, Thursday night.
He was found with gunshot wounds around 8 p.m.
The associate circuit court judge later died in a hospital, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
The perpetrator is currently being sought, CBS News reports.
However, the sheriff’s office identified 49-year-old Pedro Argote as a person of interest in the case.
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 20, 2023
“Horrible news in Washington County tonight. It appears that Judge Andrew Wilkinson was shot multiple times and has passed away. Police are actively searching for the murderer. Please pray for our police and for Judge Wilkinson’s family at this time,” said former Maryland State Delegate Neil Parrott.
Horrible news in Washington County tonight. It appears that Judge Andrew Wilkinson was shot multiple times and has passed away. Police are actively searching for the murderer. Please pray for our police and for Judge Wilkinson's family at this time. https://t.co/aUbdagfkd0
— Neil Parrott (R-MD) (@neilparrott) October 20, 2023
Per CBS News:
According to the Maryland government website, Wilkinson has been a judge with the 4th Judicial Circuit since January 2020. At his swearing-in, Wilkinson said he wanted to become a judge to serve the community, The Herald-Mail reported.
“It’s an honor and it’s humbling, and I’m happy to serve,” he said.
He was born in Agana, Guam in 1971 and later attended the University of North Carolina before getting his law degree at Emory University. 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. The site adds that Wilkinson was active in youth soccer and baseball.
No further details were available, and an investigation is ongoing. CBS Baltimore reported the sheriff’s office, which is leading the investigation, said a press conference is planned for Friday.
The Maryland judge who was shot to death outside his home presided over divorce case of the man now identified as person of interest in the killing, court records show. https://t.co/l0Wjj6nWLy
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 20, 2023
In Maryland, circuit courts in each county handle serious criminal and civil cases, including many that are appealed from the lower-level district courts, according to the state courts website.
Court records list Pedro Argote as the plaintiff who brought the divorce case in June 2022. Attorneys on both sides of the case didn’t immediately respond to emails and calls seeking comment.
However, the attorney representing the children in the divorce case had words of praise for the late jurist.
“Judge Wilkinson was an amazing man, father, husband and judge and I am blessed to have known and worked with him,” attorney Ashley Wilburn wrote in an email. “He is a hero.”
According to state police spokesperson Elena Russo, state troopers were deployed overnight to protect judges who live in Washington County.
The sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation.