Vigil remembers former Juneau Co. judge fatally shot at home

MAUSTON, Wis. — Community members shaken by the deadly shooting of a former Juneau County judge gathered outside the county’s courthouse Saturday night to pay tribute to the man they said worked tirelessly to make his community a better place.

John Roemer, 68, was fatally shot inside his home in the town of New Lisbon on June 3.

The man accused of killing him, 56-year-old Douglas Uhde, was declared legally brain-dead roughly a day after the shooting. He was kept on life support so his organs could be donated, officials said.

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Dozens attended Saturday night’s vigil, including organizer Karen Hedblom, who frequently covered Roemer’s courtroom as a newspaper reporter.

Hedblom was “devastated” when she heard the news of Roemer’s death.

“I was crying, I was listening on the scanner to the whole thing and I knew that it was somebody big,” she recalled, “and then somebody messaged me that lives in the subdivision and said it was Judge Roemer’s house.”

Speakers, including Roemer’s pastor and a judicial system colleague, remembered his faith and humor.

“I want people to know that he was a great man… and that he would want us to be kind to one another,” Hedblom said.

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Court records show Roemer sentenced Uhde to prison in 2005. Uhde reportedly had a list of other high-profile targets, including Gov. Tony Evers and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.