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Suspect in slaying of retired Wisconsin judge has died

Douglas K. Uhde, 56, who is accused of fatally shooting John Roemer, 68, was pulled off of life support, the Wisconsin Justice Department said.

The suspect in the slaying of a retired Wisconsin judge — who is alleged to have created a hit list of prominent politicians and others — died after sustaining a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Tuesday.

Douglas K. Uhde, 56, was named as the suspect in Friday morning’s fatal shooting of John Roemer, 68, a former Juneau County Circuit Court judge. Uhde was found the day of the shooting with apparent self-inflicted wounds and taken to a hospital.

Judge John Roemer
Then-Juneau County Circuit Judge John Roemer in Mauston, Wis., on Oct. 5, 2007. Tom Loucks / Daily Tribune via AP

He was declared legally brain dead Saturday and pulled off of life support Tuesday, the state Justice Department said in a statement.Roemer was found dead in his home in the Township of New Lisbon. A senior law enforcement official said Roemer had been bound with zip ties.

Deputies were called to Roemer’s home around 6:30 a.m. on a report that an armed person was present and two shots had been fired.

Authorities tried to negotiate with Uhde, who was still in the home, but their attempts were unsuccessful, the Justice Department said. A response team entered around 10:17 a.m. and found Roemer’s body. A firearm was recovered, officials said. Uhde was found critically wounded in the basement.

Roemer sentenced Uhde to six years in prison in 2005 on a charge of armed burglary with a dangerous weapon, according to Wisconsin Circuit Court records.

Attorney General Josh Kaul said at a news conference that Uhde “appears to have had other targets,” which he declined to identify.

“It appears to be related to the judicial system,” he said. “At this point, we are not aware of any evidence indicating that there is any active danger to other individuals. Those who may have been other targets have been notified of that.”

Two senior law enforcement officials briefed about the incident said the apparent hit list included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The list was found as Uhde was being taken to the hospital, the law enforcement officials said.