Douglas Uhde is the 56-year-old felon who is accused of murdering retired Wisconsin Judge John Roemer in his own home.
Online records show that Douglas Keith Uhde, also known as Doug Uhde and Douglas K. Uhde most recently lived in Saint Helen, Michigan, but had previous Wisconsin addresses in Adams, Marshfield, and Friendship, Wisconsin.
Heavy initially confirmed the suspect’s name through a law enforcement source. Douglas Uhde was then named as the suspect in a news release by the state Department of Justice.
“Following failed attempts to negotiate with Douglas K. Uhde, age fifty-six, who was in the home, at approximately 10:17 a.m. the Juneau County Special Tactics and Response Team entered the residence and located retired Judge John Roemer, a sixty-eight-year-old male, deceased,” the DOJ wrote. “Uhde was located in the basement with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement began life-saving measures, and Uhde was transported to a medical facility and remains in critical condition. A firearm was recovered at the scene.”
Uhde had multiple Facebook pages. On several of them, he posted pro-Trump memes and graphics, shared posts against gun confiscation. One showed Hillary Clinton with duct tape over her mouth.
According to WISN-TV, Roemer was “zip-tied to a chair and fatally shot.” Uhde had a hit list that also included Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the television station reported. Uhde was sued in court in 2020 by the Evers’ administration’s Department of Children and Families. That’s his most recent Wisconsin court case.
“Make America great again, duct tape this lying b****’s mouth shut,” read a graphic Uhde shared in October 2016 that showed Hillary Clinton with duct tape over her mouth. His nephew confirmed to Heavy that the page belonged to the 56-year-old Douglas Uhde with a Wisconsin criminal history.
In another post, Uhde advocated voting for Trump because he is not controlled by government. “Trump is my president,” read another graphic he shared.
He is a convicted felon, with a criminal history in Texas and Wisconsin, but his criminal cases date back years, and there is no obvious link between Uhde and Roemer. Uhde was most recently in court in 2020 on an public assistance benefits case, online court records show. Roemer’s name is not listed on any court cases in Wisconsin’s online system.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said in a news conference that Uhde targeted Roemer in the retired judge’s own home in the Town Lisbon, Wisconsin, near Mauston, before shooting himself. He had a list of other targets, the AG confirmed, but he did not name them. The suspect’s motive was anger over the criminal justice system and court cases, the attorney general said in a news conference, without being more specific.
Heavy confirmed the judge’s name with a law enforcement source. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reported that Roemer was the victim in the June 3, 2022, early morning slaying.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Uhde, Who Lived Somewhat Recently in Michigan, Where He Was Known as a ‘Lonely Dude,’ Has a Felony Criminal History in Wisconsin That Includes Weapons Offenses & Public Assistance Liens
A man who lives at the Saint Helen, Michigan, home that comes up as Uhde’s last address in online records (and where Uhde is registered to vote) told Heavy in an interview that Uhde left there about four years ago after he got in a car accident and had his probation revoked as a result. The man, a military veteran, said Uhde grew up in Michigan with his wife’s father. He provided his name but did not want it printed. He said Uhde also had family “down South.”
While Uhde lived in Michigan, he worked in “some factory up here,” the man said. Uhde then got into the car accident and lost his job when he missed three shifts in a row. He last knew that he was “going somewhere to stay with family.” (Uhde’s nephew told Heavy that Uhde lived with him for a time in Arkansas.)
Uhde had moved to Michigan when he got out of prison. The man described Uhde as a “pretty lonely dude” without kids or wife, who had “never had a long-term relationship.” He thought that was largely because Uhde was “in prison for a long time,” into his 50s. “He was very alone,” he said.
Asked if Uhde was in a militia, the man said that Uhde “knew how to hunt, fish, make a fire” but that he did not see him do anything “really militia-related.”
“He’s a Trump supporter. He was an obvious Republican,” the man said. Told that Uhde was a suspect in the murder of a judge, the man said that lots of people have anger at politicians because “there is nobody to hold them accountable. People are pushed to the extremes. Anyone educated on it, understands it.” He volunteered that “an armed society is a polite society” and said that “any red blooded American” understands that “we have a failed system.”
“A gun is not the problem. It’s the person,” he said.
When Uhde was in Saint Helen, the man said, he “was a straight arrow. He never called into work. He was willing to work overtime. He was a great individual with kids and friends. He would go fishing.”
He said Uhde was “very hush, hush” and some people didn’t even know he had been in prison, although he said, “I’m friends with a lot of police around here. They knew Doug. He never got in trouble.”
The man described militias as “idealists,” but he said, “idealists aren’t always ideal.”
Uhde has a lengthy, albeit old, criminal history in Wisconsin. But there is no sign in online court records that Roemer, who retired in 2017, was involved in any of them.
In the most recent case, in La Crosse County, public assistance liens totaling more than $4,000 were filed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families against Uhde.
At that time, Uhde’s address was given as Roscommon, Michigan. The liability was listed in court records as “Badger Care overpayment.” Badger Care is a program to provide health care to working adults.
He has 2007 convictions for felony fleeing an officer and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent and misdemeanor obstructing an officer out of Adams County.
He was convicted of felony escape from a criminal arrest in Dodge County in 2006.
Uhde sued the local sheriff in Adams County in a civil case in 2003. There was a settlement before trial.
That court official is listed as Dennis Schuh, the judge and former DA that Roemer, once his assistant prosecutor, defeated.
Uhde accused an attorney of “legal malpractice” in 2004. The case was dismissed.
In 2001, he was convicted of felony armed burglary with a dangerous weapon, and possessing a short-barreled shotgun/rifle, as well as misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon and felon in possession of a firearm.
There was a 1999 extradition case out of Adams County. Two secret John Doe cases come up under Uhde’s name in Adams County, but they are sealed.
He also has an arrest history in Texas. According to Texas criminal records, Douglas Keith Uhde was arrested for forgery in 1985. His probation was revoked in 1988. He received three years in prison.
He was arrested for escape from custody in Bastrop, Texas, in 1995.
He hit mandatory release in 2000.
His parole was revoked. He used an alias, Billy Roy Harris Jr., and was born in Indiana.
2. Uhde Filed Multiple Appeals & Court Cases as an Inmate
In 2003, Uhde, while confined in Stanley Correctional Institution, contended that a deputy sheriff and police officer from Adams County violated his right under the Fourth Amendment to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures when he said they entered his home and searched his car and person without consent and then placed him in handcuffs and arrested him. He also alleged he was questioned without being given Miranda warnings, and he claimed he was indigent, court records say.
The court records say one officer found an unloaded shotgun under a blanket. The court ruled that Uhde had only submitted a Department of Natural Resources warden’s citation as evidence.
In 2012, he appealed “an order denying his petition for writ of habeas corpus.” Court documents say, “Uhde was convicted of escape in 2007. The complaint alleged that Uhde was an inmate at Fox Lake Correctional Institution and walked away from a job site in Baraboo. Uhde pled no contest to the charge. Uhde now argues that venue in Dodge County was improper because he committed the crime in Sauk County, where he walked away from the job site. We reject the argument.”
He won an appeal seeking to withdraw a plea.
3. Roemer Was Killed in a ‘Targeted Act’ & Had Other Targets ‘Related to the Judicial System,’ the State’s Attorney General Says; the Judge’s Son Escaped Through a Window
620 WTMJ reported through sources that the suspect was part of a militia and that he had a hit list “that included the names of several elected officials including Governor Tony Evers.” Authorities have not confirmed the militia angle either, however. The Wisconsin governor, who is up for reelection in November, has not commented on the report. The murder occurred near Mauston, Wisconsin, according to a Wisconsin Department of Justice press release.
According to dispatch audio obtained by Heavy, the 911 caller said he woke up and saw a male subject with a firearm, a pistol. The subject didn’t see him, and he was able to exit the house through a window. He said his father would normally be in the garage or kitchen area at this time, but he doesn’t know whether his father is, the dispatcher said. That report was at just before 7 a.m.
In a news conference on June 3, 2022, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said the “critical incident” occurred in the town of New Lisbon that morning. He said the victim was targeted based on court cases. Kaul declined to name the victim or suspect.
“This incident appears to be a targeted act,” Kaul said.
“The individual who is a suspect appears to have other targets related to the judicial system,” Kaul said. Law enforcement officials don’t believe there is an active danger to others, however.
The state Department of Justice that Kaul leads handles select criminal cases of statewide importance, he said.
4. Roemer Was a Retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve & a Former Prosecutor
According to Ballotpedia, John P. Roemer was “a circuit court judge for the Juneau County Circuit Court in Wisconsin. He was elected to the bench in the spring of 2004 after defeating former judge Dennis C. Shuh with 62 percent of the vote. Roemer was re-elected in 2010 and 2016.”
The site reports that, before he was a judge, Roemer “was a Juneau County assistant district attorney for twelve years. Roemer also worked as an assistant state public defender in Baraboo, Wisconsin. In November 2002, Roemer retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.”
Roemer “received a J.D. from Hamline University Law School,” Ballotpedia reports.
A judicial newsletter says that Roemer was also a former public defender. An assistant district attorney, Roemer defeated a former District Attorney appointed to the bench by then Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, the newsletter says.
5. The Suspect Has a Series of Pro Trump & Anti Gun Confiscation Posts on Facebook
We reached a nephew of Uhde’s. He said he did not have much contact with him and none recently, but that he did live with him for a time down south after Uhde got out of prison. He did not have enough contact with him to say whether he had any militia ties or what his politics were, though. He confirmed several pages as belonging to Uhde.
They have pro Trump, anti gun confiscation posts and posts against Janet Reno and Hillary Clinton. “Trump forever,” read a sign in a post he shared.
Kaul said in a news conference that the suspect was found with a self-inflicted wound and is in critical condition.
Asked by a reporter whether he was recently incarcerated and then released, Kaul would not say.
At 6:30 a.m., on June 3, 2022, the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office received a call notifying law enforcement of an armed person and shots fired, Kaul said.
The caller had exited the home and called law enforcement. After failed attempts to negotiate with the gunman, a special response team entered the residence and located the homeowner, a 68-year-old male, who was deceased. The attorney general did not name him.
The 56-year-old suspect was located in the basement with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was recovered. That male was transported to a medical facility, Kaul said.
Kaul confirmed that the incident occurred at the “home of a former judge,” and said, “This is an ongoing investigation.”
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