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New Jersey judge, whose son was killed in targeted attack, calls for change after Maryland judge’s murder

A New Jersey federal judge is calling for additional protections for those who work in the U.S. judicial system after a Maryland circuit court judge was fatally shot last week in what police are describing as a targeted attack.

Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, was found dead in his driveway outside his Hagerstown home just hours after he presided over a judgment hearing in the suspect’s divorce case, during which he awarded full custody of the suspect’s children to his soon-to-be ex-wife. Maryland police are still searching for suspect Pedro Argote.

“In my opinion, every state and territory in the United States should have laws protecting judges and should have laws that are aimed at judicial security,” New Jersey federal judge Esther Salas told Fox News Digital. “There are a handful of states like New Jersey that have addressed judicial security head-on, and my hope and prayer is that states will follow New Jersey’s lead, follow the federal legislation and create and enact their own laws that are aimed directly at the judiciary.”

Salas lost her 20-year-old son in 2020 after he was fatally shot in a racially motivated attack targeting Salas.

Argote does not have a criminal record in Washington County, but authorities have been called to his address for “verbal domestic assaults” twice within the last several years, according to Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert.

Anyone with information regarding Argote’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 240-313-2170 or the U.S. Marshals at 1-877-WANTED2.

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to or on Twitter at @audpants.


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