Suspected Murderer of Maryland Judge Discovered Deceased

( – Going through a divorce can result in heightened emotions for all parties involved, but rarely do they extend to the judge on the case. On October 19, Maryland Circuit Court judge Andrew Wilkinson was found shot in his driveway in Hagerstown. He later died at Meritus Medical Center. In looking for a suspect, Pedro Argote, whom Wilkinson had ruled against earlier that day in divorce proceedings, emerged. Recently, authorities found him dead.

On Thursday, October 26, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement at a press conference noting that Argote, who was the only suspect in the judge’s death, had been found dead. Several law enforcement agencies combined to conduct “systematic searches,” according to CBS News, and found his body “in a heavily wooded area.” They did not confirm his manner of death.

The motive for the murder seems to lay within a decision Wilkinson had handed down hours before his death. Argote and his wife were fighting over custody of their four children, who ranged in age from 3 to 12, and the judge had awarded custody to Argote’s estranged wife, Eugenia. He also noted that the relationship between the two parties was contentious and Argote seemed to maintain total control over Eugenia, and there was “cruelty of treatment” during the marriage.

Wilkinson’s death sparked a large manhunt, with several law enforcement agencies joining in on the search effort and offering a $10,000 reward for his capture. During that time, authorities also stepped up security around other judges within Washington County and throughout the state.

On Friday, October 27, more than 600 people gathered to pay their final respects to Wilkinson, more than 100 of whom were fellow judges. Monsignor J. Bruce Jarboe led the service and spoke with reporters after saying that Wilkinson “was a really good man” who “loved his family tremendously.” The judge’s wife, who was at home with their son when the murder occurred, said her husband’s death was “an unexpected loss.”

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