Authorities say fleeing man admitted shooting Indiana deputy
LEBANON, Ind. (AP) — The man charged Tuesday with killing a central Indiana sheriff’s deputy told detectives that he fired the fatal shot because he feared being arrested again.
Prosecutors filed murder charges against Anthony Baumgardt, 21, of Lebanon for the death of Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett during a foot chase on Friday.
Baumgardt wasn’t being sought by Lebanon officers when the chase began. They were looking to arrest a woman wanted on a warrant and saw another man facing an arrest warrant who fled in a stolen car in which Baumgardt was riding, according to court documents. Pickett and his police dog were pursuing Baumgardt after he ran away from the car when the deputy was shot in the city about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
While Baumgardt was being treated in a hospital after he was wounded when other officers returned fire, he told a detective “I shot a cop ... cause they were going to take me to jail,” the probable cause affidavit said.
Baumgardt faced a Marion County arrest warrant for missing a court hearing on a felony theft charge and had a 2016 Boone County felony methamphetamine conviction.
Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer said he was leaning toward seeking the death penalty against Baumgardt, who also faces charges of resisting law enforcement and illegal handgun, methamphetamine and marijuana possession.
Court and jail records on Tuesday didn’t list an attorney for Baumgardt, whose initial court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Baumgardt’s father said Monday he’s more concerned about the deputy’s family than his son. Robert Baumgardt told WTHR-TV that his son quit school, left home about five years ago and got caught up in drugs and related crimes.
“He just went down the wrong road, had the attitude he don’t care,” Baumgardt said. “You can’t help somebody that can’t be helped.”
He said his heart goes out to Pickett’s wife and two young children.
No one else faces charges directly related to Pickett’s death, but Meyer said ownership of the handgun and the actions of other people remained under investigation.
Pickett, 34, had been a Boone County deputy for nearly three years after two years with the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department.
Pickett’s services begin with visitation 2-7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, according to the sheriff’s department. His funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Connection Pointe Christian Church in Brownsburg, the Indianapolis suburb where Pickett grew up and graduated from Brownsburg High School in 2002.