Judge shot and killed in front of his home

HAGERSTOWN, MD – A manhunt is underway for the suspect believed to have fatally shot Maryland Circuit County Judge Andrew Wilkinson on Thursday night. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspect as 49-year-old Pedro Argote, and they are urgently seeking information from the public regarding his whereabouts. Argote may be driving a silver Mercedes GL450, as per law enforcement.

The tragic incident unfolded north of Hagerstown, located approximately 75 miles north of Baltimore, when deputies responded to a shooting around 8:00 p.m. They discovered Judge Wilkinson, 52, in a residential driveway, suffering from a gunshot wound. Wilkinson was transported to a local hospital but sadly succumbed to his injuries.

According to Maryland Circuit Court records, Argote had appeared before Judge Wilkinson in court on the morning before the shooting. The judge was presiding over a divorce case involving Argote and his estranged wife, Eugenia Argote, which had been filed in June of 2022. Authorities have not yet disclosed the motive behind the killing, citing an ongoing investigation.

Former state delegate Neil Parrott reported that Judge Wilkinson had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Maryland State Police troopers were deployed to provide protection to other judges following the incident.

Judge Wilkinson had served as an associate judge for the 4th Judicial Circuit Court since January 2020. He held a law degree from Emory University School of Law, earned in 1997, and had extensive experience in various Maryland courts, from district to the Court of Appeals, encompassing areas such as real estate, zoning, family law, and civil litigation. Wilkinson had been appointed as a circuit court judge by former Gov. Larry Hogan. During his investiture ceremony, he remarked on the honor and humility of serving as a judge in his hometown.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is planning to hold a press conference to provide further updates on the case.