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HomeBreaking NewsRetired Wisconsin Judge Shot to Death at Home

Retired Wisconsin Judge Shot to Death at Home


UPDATE: The Wisconsin Department of Justice has identified Douglas Uhde, 56, as the suspect in the killing of retired Judge John Roemer.

A retired Juneau County, Wisconsin judge was shot and killed in a targeted attack in his home located near the city of New Lisbon, friday morning.

WRN has learned the victim is John Roemer, 68, who retired from the bench in 2017. The former judge was discovered zip-tied to a chair and shot. His son called 911 to report that he had seen a man with a gun and escaped through a window; he told law enforcement he wasn’t sure where his father was when he escaped.

A 56-year-old man was found in the basement of the judge’s home and was transported to a hospital in critical condition with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A firearm was recovered.

A source close to the investigation told WTMJ’s John Mercure the suspect was part of a militia and he had with him a hit list that included the names of several elected officials including Governor Tony Evers. ABC News reported that the suspect had a list of more than a dozen names, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In a news conference on June 3, 2022, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said the incident occurred in the township of New Lisbon. Kaul said the victim was targeted based on court cases but wouldn’t name the victim or suspect and that other targets have been notified.

(Editor’s note: WRN believes Kaul incorrectly identified the home as being in the township of New Lisbon. We believe the home is located in the town of Lisbon, just outside of the city of New Lisbon.)

Kaul said, “The individual who is a suspect appears to have other targets related to the judicial system,” and “At this point we are not aware of any evidence that there is any active danger to other individuals.”

The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning about an armed person in a New Lisbon home where two shots had been fired. The caller had been in the home, but left and contacted police from a nearby home.

The Juneau County Special Tactics and Response Team attempted to negotiate with the suspect and made entry to the home at 10:17 am.

“So far the information that’s been gathered indicates that it was a targeted act and the targeting was based on some sort of court case or court cases,” Kaul said.

Kaul said he did not believe there was a danger to the public.

The state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation and is assisted by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office, Mauston Police Department, Elroy Police Department, Wisconsin State Crime Lab, Wisconsin State Patrol, DOJ’s Office of Crime Victim Services and the FBI.

About Judge John Roemer

John Roemer was first elected to the Juneau County Circuit Court in 2004. Roemer was reelected in 2010 and 2016. In both elections, he ran unopposed. Roemer resigned in August 2017, due to his wife’s declining health. She passed away in 2018.

Judge John Roemer presided over several high-profile cases in Juneau County.

John Roemer graduated from Hamline University Law School in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1980.

He married his wife, Vivian. They had three sons: Nathaniel, Jordan and Mark.

In 2002, he retired from the U.S. Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel.

Prior to being elected judge, John Roemer was a Juneau County assistant district attorney for 12 years. He spent five years as an assistant state public defender in Baraboo.

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Jim Piwowarczyk
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now.

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