Friday morning, former Maryland governor Larry Hogan wrote about the passing of Andrew Wilkinson, A Judge from Washington County Circuit, on X, formerly Twitter.
Hogan claimed that this horrifying act of violence has shaken the basis of their justice system in addition to taking the life of a well-liked community leader.
Hogan chose Wilkinson to fill the vacancy on the bench. He took office on January 10, 2020.
The Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert reported that Wilkinson, 52, was discovered dead with apparent gunshot wounds in his driveway in Hagerstown on Olde Waterford Road on Thursday evening.
The 49-year-old Argote is still wanted by the sheriff’s office, along with his silver 2009 Mercedes GL450 with the Maryland license plate 4EH0408.
Albert said yes. In a divorce proceeding involving Argote’s children, whose custody was granted to the lady in the trial, Judge Wilkinson presided. Argote didn’t show up for the hearing.
According to Albert, Wilkinson was fatally wounded in his driveway on Thursday night at 8 o’clock. The wife and son of the judge were at home.
Argote is the legitimate owner of a firearm, according to Albert, and he has no prior convictions. Police, according to him, have twice been called to his home for unrelated problems.
There is a massive search going on for Argote. Maryland’s Washington County has a boundary with the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
According to the sheriff’s office, Argote is 5-foot-7 130 lbs. with black hair & brown eyes.
Wilkinson’s passing precipitated a wave of increased judge security across the county. According to a statement made by the Maryland State Police on Friday, guards were sent out last night to protect judges who were staying in Washington County out of an abundance of caution.
All judges and court employees are receiving additional security, and the court wherein Wilkinson worked has been placed under “high-level” security.
The latest in a string of threats and assaults against judges as well as their families is Wilkinson’s passing. According to the US Marshals Service, more than 1,300 threats or potential threats against employees of federal courts were looked into during the fiscal year 2022.
Argote’s address is listed in court documents as being in Frederick’s 1800 block of Jacob Bruner Drive, close to Baughmans Lane and Shokstown Road.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is helping the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in the hunt for Argote, according to Todd Wivell, a spokesman for the agency. In addition, as a precaution, the county’s Sheriff’s Office would enhance patrols on all judges and magistrates in the county, according to Wivell.
The Maryland Judiciary released a statement in which it expressed its sorrow for Wilkinson’s passing and its cooperation with law enforcement in resolving the situation and ensuring the security of judges, staff members, and visitors.
The order Wilkinson issued on Thursday mentions a 2009 Mercedes that Argote was willing to make accessible to his children’s mother on her reasonable request so that she may take the kids to any necessary doctor’s or dentist’s visits.
The mother had to have sole use and control of the family house, which was located on land west of Hagerstown, according to the ruling, and Argote had no right to access that property.
According to the ruling, Argote was ordered to give the mother $1,120 per month in child support for their four minor children.
A Wisconsin judge was assassinated in an intentional act last year, according to officials. A Texas woman was accused in August of threatening to assassinate the federal judge in charge of the investigation into Trump’s alleged election meddling.
In 2020, a lawyer who had previously presented a case to Judge Esther Salas of the US District Court went to her house and started shooting, killing the judge’s son and critically injuring her husband. Salas has since demanded that judges have more privacy protections.
Andrew Wilkinson’s Short Past
As stated in the information provided on the Washington County website, Wilkinson has served as an assistant judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit since 2020. He was born in Guam in 1971 and graduated from Emory University School of Law and the University of North Carolina.
Wilkinson stated his intention of becoming a judge during his oath-taking that he wanted to contribute to the community.
Wilkinson expressed gratitude to retiring judge Frederick C. Wright III for helping to shape his career. Although Wilkinson’s military family had been relocating, Hagerstown became his permanent residence in 1983 after Wright recruited his mom as a law clerk.