Search Continues for Suspect in ‘Targeted’ Murder of Maryland Judge; US Marshals Service Offers $10,000 Reward

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A $10,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of a man accused of Fatally shooting a Maryland judge in a “targeted attack” outside his home..

The U.S. Marshals Service said Friday it is seeking the public’s help in finding Pedro Argote, 49, wanted in connection with the murder of Washington County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson. The shooting occurred hours after the judge gave Argote’s ex-wife custody of her four youngest children, according to officials.

Argote has ties to multiple areas outside of Maryland, including Brooklyn and Long Island, New York; Columbus, Indiana; and Tampa and Clearwater, Florida, the Marshals Service said in a Press release. It also has connections to unknown places in North Carolina.

Pedro Argote.
Pedro Argote.Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland

Argote should be considered armed and dangerous. He may be driving a 2009 silver Mercedes GL 450, authorities said.

Wilkinson was the judge overseeing Argote’s divorce case, filed in June 2022. On Thursday morning, hours before the shooting, he presided over a hearing in the case and granted Argote’s wife an absolute divorce from him, as well as the exclusive legal custody of their four. Children of 12, 11, 5 and 3 years old.

Argote did not attend the hearing.

The judge ordered Argote not to contact or visit the children and prohibited him from contacting the wife unless she initiated it for the purpose of using a 2009 Mercedes for shopping trips and necessary medical appointments, according to the court document. Argote was also banned from entering the family home and ordered to pay $1,120 a month in child support.

The ruling attributed the decision to a conclusion of “cruelty of treatment” and “irreconcilable differences.” Washington County Sheriff Brian K. Albert said Friday that the shooting occurred in response to the judge’s custody decision.

In June 2022, the wife filed a domestic violence petition alleging that there had been physical abuse against one of his daughters.

She wrote that she felt unsafe because he would point a gun at her and that she was afraid he would try to take the children from her.

She also accused him of harassing her through emails and text messages, monitoring her through home security cameras, and controlling her emotionally and financially. Her petition was dismissed less than two weeks after she filed it. It is not clear why.

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