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Retired Wisconsin Judge Allegedly Targeted, Killed By Man He Sent To Prison In 2005

Police say that Doug Uhde, who was hospitalized with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, tied up and shot former Wisconsin judge John Roemer and may have had a list of other potential targets.

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Douglas Uhde

A man who allegedly gunned down a retired Wisconsin judge in a targeted shooting over the weekend also had a hit list for several high-ranking politicians.

Former Juneau County judge John Roemer, 68, was found shot to death at his home on Friday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Authorities have described the former judge’s shooting as “targeted.” He was discovered in his New Lisbon home shortly after 10:00 a.m. and had been bound with zip ties, NBC News reported, citing senior law enforcement sources. 

The alleged shooter, Doug K. Uhde, 56, was taken into custody, but sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the judge’s home.

Police were originally dispatched to the judge’s residence more than three and half hours before his body was found, after reports of shots fired at the property. An unidentified witness, who had been in the home at the time of the shooting, fled the residence and called 911 from a nearby home after hearing two gunshots, investigators said.

Upon arrival at the home, police were initially unable to make contact with anybody. A Juneau County Special Tactics and Response team ultimately entered the home at 10:17 a.m. and found Roemer deceased. Uhde was discovered in the basement of the house with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and transported to hospital in critical condition.

Roemer had sentenced Uhde to six years in prison in 2015 on armed burglary and multiple firearms charges, court records show. During a press conference, Attorney General Josh Kaul stated that Uhde “appears to have had other targets,” per NBC News.

Kaul declined to specify who else may have been on the hit list. 

The judge’s brazen killing has since sent shockwaves through the state’s legal circles.

“The state's judicial family is shocked and saddened by this tragedy,” Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler said. “Judge Roemer dedicated much of his career to public service in the law. Before taking the bench in 2004, he had served as an assistant district attorney and as an assistant state public defender. He was known by colleagues for his sharp legal mind and his willingness to share his time and knowledge with others. His work made a tremendous difference in the lives of many people in Juneau County and elsewhere in the state. Our deepest sympathy goes to Judge Roemer's family at this time."

Governor Tony Evers also expressed dismay at the justice’s apparent targeted killing.

“I mean, the idea that, as I said before, a judge from a rural county is targeted and murdered, it’s just abhorrent to our judiciary and to leadership in our state and our county,” Evers said, according to NBC affiliate WTMJ. “It’s a horrible situation. I grieve for him. I grieve for his family. And God, we can do better than this in Wisconsin."

It’s unclear if Uhde has retained a lawyer to comment on his behalf.

A spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Justice didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on Monday.

Anyone with additional information pertaining to Uhde is urged to contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice at 608-266-1221.

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