Pedro Argote: Suspect in Murder of Maryland Judge Andrew Wilkinson Named

pedro argote

Police/headshot Pedro Argote and Judge Andrew Wilkinson

Pedro Argote is a digital advertising company owner who has been named in connection with the homicide of Andrew Wilkinson, a Maryland judge who was shot and killed in his driveway on October 19, 2023, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in Maryland.

Argote is not in custody and “is considered armed and dangerous,” Sheriff Brian Albert said in a news conference on October 20.

Albert said Wilkinson had presided over Argote’s court case earlier in the day and gave custody of Argote’s children to his wife.

The victim “was identified as Washington County, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, of Hagerstown, Maryland,” a news release from the sheriff’s department read.

Washington County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carly Hose said during the press conference that the judge, 52, who was shot in Hagerstown, Maryland, suffered gunshot wounds and died in the hospital of his injuries.

Albert said in the news conference that “this was a targeted attack on Judge Wilkinson.” He confirmed that Argote, 49, is the suspect.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Judge Andrew Wilkinson Had Just Signed an Order Barring Pedro Argote From Contact With His Children in a Contentious Divorce Case

“There was a proceeding earlier in the day, a divorce hearing,” Albert said during the press conference. “He did not show up at court for the hearing.”

According to the Herald-Mail, court records show that Argote was in Wilkinson’s court in a divorce case on Thursday, October 19, 2023, the day of the murder.

The newspaper reported that Wilkinson signed an order banning visitation and contact between Argote and his children. Argote was also barred from contacting the children’s mother, according to the Herald-Mail.

Albert confirmed that the judge gave custody of the kids to the mother during that hearing.

The judge also ruled that Argote was supposed to make his 2009 Mercedes vehicle available to the mother “upon reasonable request to attend to necessary shopping or medical or dental,” the newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, Argote was ordered to pay $1,200 a month in child support for four juvenile children and barred from entering the family home.

2. Pedro Argote, Who Is Being Sought by Maryland Authorities, Ran a Digital Advertising Agency With His Wife

pedro argote

Washington County SheriffPedro Argote.

According to the Daily Record, Argote and his wife ran a digital advertising agency together but were experiencing “financial challenges,” court records show.

In a news release on October 20, 2023, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced they are searching for Argote “in connection to the Olde Waterford Road homicide investigation.”

“Anyone with information on the location of Pedro Argote, 49, is asked to notify law enforcement immediately. Argote is 5’7”, 130 lbs. with black hair and brown eyes. He may be operating a silver 2009 Mercedes GL450, displaying Maryland registration plates 4EH0408,” the release said.

Authorities also released a photo of a Mercedes SUV.

“Anyone with information in reference to Argote’s location is asked to not approach him but to immediately notify law enforcement,” authorities wrote.

“This continues to be an active investigation, certain details of the case will not be released to the public by law enforcement,” according to the release.

Albert said authorities don’t believe there is any threat to other judges.

3. Judge Andrew Wilkinson, Who Once Worked as an Assistant County Attorney & Volunteered as a Little League Coach, Was Shot in His Driveway While His Wife & Son Were Home, Authorities Said

pedro argote

Washington County Sheriff’s DepartmentVehicle associated with Pedro Argote.

Wilkinson’s wife and son were home when he was shot in his driveway, Albert said.

In their initial news release, the sheriff’s department reported that on October 19, 2023, at approximately 8 p.m., deputies “responded to the 19100 block of Olde Waterford Road, Hagerstown, MD, for a reported shooting.”

They wrote: “The victim, an adult male, was located in the driveway of a residence. The victim was suffering from what appeared to be gunshot wounds. He was transported to Meritus Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his injuries.”

According to his biography in the Maryland Manual, Wilkinson was listed as an “Associate Judge, Washington County Circuit Court, 4th Judicial Circuit, January 10, 2020 to October 19, 2023.”

Before that he worked as an assistant county attorney for Washington County from 2006 to 2023, and he was a member of the Character Committee for the State Board of Law Examiners.

He was born in Agana, Guam, in 1971, and received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina, and his law degree from Emory University School of Law in 1997, the biography says.

He was an associate at several law firms before running his own firm, Wilkinson Law, and he was involved in multiple leadership roles in associations, such as the Washington County Bar Association, Food Resources, Inc., and the Downtown Rotary Club.

He was a youth soccer coach and assistant Little League baseball coach and a member of St. Ann Catholic Church, in Hagerstown, Maryland, according to his biography.

4. Authorities Had Responded to ‘Verbal Domestic Assaults’ at the Home of Pedro Argote in the Past & His Wife Described Him as Controlling & Violent

According to the sheriff, authorities had responded to “verbal domestic assaults” two times in the last two years at Argote’s home, but Argote had no criminal record “that we are aware of.”

He “legally owned a handgun,” Albert said.

According to the Daily Record, Argote had lived separately inside the home with his wife for two years before he filed for divorce.

He briefly lived in West Virginia and then lived in a Frederick, Maryland, apartment, starting in April, the Daily Record reported.

According to the Daily Record, Argote’s wife “filed for a domestic violence protection order against her husband in June 2022.”

In that petition, she said Argote “was leaving her without any financial resources and controlling her movements because he kept the car keys in his possession at all times.”

He was accused by his wife of becoming violent with their daughter. “I got in the middle and told him for him to get to her he needed to hit me or kill me,” the wife wrote, saying she sought help from a group that deals with domestic violence, according to the Daily Record.

“I need help,” she wrote, according to the newspaper. “Physical violence is not the only kind of violence.”

She also claimed that Argote took her savings, and she couldn’t leave the house without him noticing, according to the Daily Record. She later asked for the order to be dismissed, the newspaper reported.

5. Pedro Argote’s Wife Recently Sought a Part-Time Nanny for the Couple’s ‘4 Kiddos’

In July 2022, Argote’s wife, Eugenia Argote, sought childcare for their four children, according to a Facebook post by WC parents.

“Have a mom looking for help: 😃,” it read. “Hello, my name is Eugenia Argote. I lived in Hagerstown and I am looking for a part-time (Mon-Fri 1pm to 6pm) babysitter/nanny for my 4 kiddos (ages 11, 10, 4 and 2). I will be working from home and I need someone to keep and eye on them an entertain the two little ones.”

“The Maryland Judiciary mourns the tragic death of Judge Andrew Wilkinson. As we grieve his loss, we ask that you keep the Wilkinson family in your prayers and please respect their privacy. The Maryland Judiciary is actively engaging with law enforcement to assist in resolving this matter and to ensure the safety of our judges, staff, and visitors, which remains our top priority,” the Maryland Judiciary said in a statement.

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