BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – The man accused of killing Deputy Jacob Pickett arrived at the Boone County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon for his initial hearing.
Anthony Baumgardt, 21, faces murder, drug, and gun charges after police say he shot Pickett last week.
Investigators were chasing Baumgardt and two other men after they fled the site of an unrelated attempted arrest last Friday. Prosecutor Todd Meyer says Baumgardt jumped from a fleeing car, and he ran around the corner of an apartment building in Lebanon with Deputy Pickett and his K9 partner Brik in pursuit.
Pickett was shot once in the head. Officers returned fire, wounding Baumgardt before taking him into custody.
According to court documents, Baumgardt told police, “I shot a cop.” When asked why he did it he answered, “Cause they were going to take me to jail.”
While officers walked Baumgardt into the courthouse ahead of his initial hearing, he was asked if he was sorry for killing Pickett. Baumgardt said "nope," and he repeated multiple times he has "no remorse."
He was also asked why he shot Pickett. He said, "I didn't want to get bit by a dog." Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said, "That’s deputy Pickett’s dog. That’s Brik.”
Baumgardt replied, "Well I didn’t want to get bit by Brik."
During the hearing Baumgardt asked the judge, "Will they be seeking the death penalty?" He then asked, "If I plead guilty can I seek out the death penalty on my own?"
After the court hearing, Nielsen said it "hurt deep inside" when Baumgardt said he had no remorse. "But we move on." Nielsen later said, “I will not step down to his level. I did not cry in there because he will not get to me. But what I will tell you is I will be at every hearing and every trial, and so will his K9 partner Brik.”
Meyer says he’s leaning toward pursuing the death penalty in the case.
The suspect's father, Robert Baumgardt Jr., issued a statement after the court hearing, saying his family wants justice as much as the public.
“After Anthony’s words today, I am speechless," he said. "Let’s give respect to the hero and the officers in blue, not giving Anthony the spotlight. Please let everyone know we want justice as much as they do. Swift Justice. My prayers for the family, Brik and the brothers in blue continue.”