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Whitmer’s name found on list of guman suspected in retired Wisconsin judge’s murder

By: - June 5, 2022 7:15 am

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives the keynote address at the 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference on June 2, 2022 | Allison R. Donahue

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s name was among those found on a list authorities say was made by a man suspected of fatally shooting a retired county judge at a Wisconsin home on Friday.

That’s according to Zach Pohl, Whitmer’s deputy chief of staff, who confirmed the governor’s name appeared “on the Wisconsin gunman’s list.”

56-year-old Douglas K. Uhde is hospitalized in critical condition after the Wisconsin Department of Justice says he shot and killed retired Juneau County Judge John Roemer at Roemer’s house in New Lisbon on Friday.

Police had been called to the home at approximately 6:30 a.m. with the report of an armed person and two shots fired. The caller had exited the home and contacted law enforcement from a neighbor’s house.

Uhde was found in Roemer’s basement with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after police had attempted to negotiate with him. Roemer was found fatally shot and zip-tied to a chair.

Uhde, who has a lengthy criminal record, was sentenced by Roemer to six years in prison on weapons charges. While Wisconsin authorities say the murder appeared to be targeted, a list was discovered in his vehicle containing Whitmer’s name and that of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.

Pohl said that while the news reports were “deeply troubling,” Whitmer’s office would not comment further on an ongoing criminal investigation. 

“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 Pohl.

Whitmer was the target of a militia plot in 2020 that authorities say sought to kidnap her in retaliation for her actions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Four men were tried in the case earlier this year, with two of the defendants being acquitted, while a jury couldn’t reach a verdict on the two others. They will likely face a new trial.

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.