October 23 – Last Thursday night Judge Andrew Wilkinson was shot and killed in his driveway on Olde Waterford Road in Hagerstown by a man who had just lost custody of his children from a ruling Wilkinson had made.
Pedro Argote, 49, is still on the loose and a $10,000 reward will be given for any information that leads to his arrest.
Judge Wilkinson was 52 and left behind a wife and child.
Washington County Sheriff’s deputies searched a remote area near Williamsport, MD, after finding a car related to Argote. The search has since ended and no information on his whereabouts is currently known.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This guy had been subject to a domestic relations divorce proceeding with this judge. Apparently the judge just the day before this murder occurred, had ordered that the children be given to the full primary custody of the mother and that’s apparently what set this guy off.”
Reporting over the weekend has shown Argote has ties to four or five different states, including North Carolina and New York.
Barkdoll said, “Police are being pretty close to the vest about are they pursuing leads on where he is? I imagine there’s some school of thought: is the guy dead somewhere? Did he possibly kill himself? But I liked what the sheriff over there said over the weekend that we’re going to get this guy and no doubt that they’ve got all hands on deck, using every resource available to find him because if he is alive, he’s armed and dangerous and he needs to be taken off the streets.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “The ex-wife of this guy, she is saying that he was violent, that he was abusive of their 11 year old, that she had sought help from domestic violence advocacy centers as far back as 2012. So again, this is hearsay in a divorce proceeding, I suppose as much as is I can say about it, but it is reported that she was saying there was a reason for him to be denied to his children and if he was violent in the past, that could explain a very violent reaction to being denied what he wanted.”
This story is getting attention all over the country.
Barkdoll noted, “I did see some other reports that this guy did not have a criminal record. I saw one media outlet interviewed some neighbors where he lived and led a very low profile sort of life. He lived down in the Frederick area, but he was making a lot of social media posts over the summer about guns. He was getting very engaged in the idea of buying guns. He was going to gun lessons, shooting lessons and I’m sure law enforcement is carefully going through all of that as well to see if that might give them any clues on where this guy has landed.”