The retired Wisconsin judge found dead in his basement was allegedly murdered by a career criminal he’d previously sentenced to prison time, according to state authorities.
Douglas Uhde, 56, was once hit with six-year sentence by Juneau County Judge John Roemer, 68, whom he allegedly shot and killed in his home Friday morning.
The prison sentence was connected to weapons charges.
Uhde, who was identified Saturday by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and has a rap sheet going back almost two decades, is also accused of compiling a hit list of prominent politicians, including GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“The information that’s been gathered indicated that it was a targeted act and that the targeting was based on some sort of court case or court cases,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said Friday.
After failed attempts to talk Uhde down, members of the Juneau County Special Tactics and Response Team breached Roemer’s home Friday morning and found Roemer dead and Uhde with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the basement.
Law enforcement began efforts to save the accused killer’s life and Uhde was rushed to a hospital where he remained in critical condition, the state Department of Justice said Saturday.
Uhde’s most recent prison stint ended in April 2020. He has yet to be charged in the judge’s death.
Investigators said there was no immediate danger to the public as their probe continues.
Uhde may have planned to target other government officials, including McConnell, Evers and Whitmer, a law enforcement official said. There were 13 names on the list overall.
State authorities did not address the alleged hit list in their news release Saturday.
But Whitmer’s office confirmed it was notified her name appeared “on the Wisconsin gunman’s list.”
“Governor Whitmer has demonstrated repeatedly that she is tough, and she will not be bullied or intimidated from doing her job and working across the aisle to get things done for the people of Michigan,” said Zach Pohl, Whitmer’s deputy chief of staff.
Federal prosecutors failed to convict four men earlier this year in an alleged kidnapping plot of the Michigan Democrat — two men were found not guilty and the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict for the other two.
Another person on the hit list is a gun shop owner and candidate for Chippewa County Sheriff in Wisconsin, according to WKOW.
Candidate Dan Marcon, who also works for the Department of Corrections for 14 years, confirmed the news.
“We found a list with your name on it and I’m like, OK, that doesn’t sound good,” said Marcon.
“I had a death threat last year from a gentleman in Milwaukee on a stance that I stood with [Senator] Ron Johnson on and it was a legit one. The Milwaukee Sheriff’s Department went down and knocked on his door and talked to him and said, you know, good call on that one,” said Marcon, according to WKOW.
“Is there another person that’s coming after me that they don’t know about?”
Roemer was remembered as a “very loving, very encouraging man with a wonderful sense of humor who will be dearly missed,” said Chip Wilke, a pastor with the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mauston.
Roemer was the president of the congregation and evangelism chairman.
He retired from the bench in 2017 after serving for nearly 20 years. He was also a former assistant district attorney in Juneau County and an assistant state public defender.
He also served as lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserves.
With Post wires