The manhunt for Pedro Argote, a suspect in the fatal shooting of Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson in Maryland, has entered its fourth day. Authorities believe Argote is responsible for the shooting, which occurred in the judge’s driveway shortly after Wilkinson ruled against him in a divorce case.
On Saturday, officials located the silver Mercedes SUV believed to be driven by Argote in a wooded area in Williamsport, approximately eight miles southwest of Hagerstown, where the shooting transpired. Authorities have now completed their search of the Williamsport area and indicated that there is no immediate evidence suggesting Argote is still in the vicinity. They are urging anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact law enforcement.
The shooting occurred on the same day that Judge Wilkinson awarded custody of Argote’s children to his wife, leading Sheriff Brian Albert to describe it as a “targeted attack.” Various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, are participating in the search for Argote. The Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to his arrest.
Argote is known to have ties to multiple areas outside of Maryland, including Brooklyn and Long Island, New York; Tampa and Clearwater, Florida; Columbus, Indiana; and North Carolina.
Incidents involving threats and violence against judges have been reported across the United States in recent years. To address such concerns, President Joe Biden signed a bill last year that provides continuous security protection for the families of Supreme Court justices, following protests outside the homes of conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices in response to a leaked draft court opinion regarding the Roe v. Wade abortion-rights decision.