‘I shot a cop’: Boone County prosecutor quotes accused killer, leans in direction of seeking death penalty

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BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer said if there is a conviction for the murder of Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Pickett he will be inclined to seek capital punishment for the accused killer.

“Based on the evidence as it has been presented to me thus far, and what I know about this case, and I’m not making a decision right now, but, yes, I’m leaning in that direction.”

Meyer spoke to reporters in the basement of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department after releasing the probable cause affidavit in his case against 21-year-old Anthony Baumgardt, the Lebanon man charged with fatally shooting Pickett last Friday.

Baumgardt faces charges of murder, methamphetamine and marijuana possession, two handgun charges, and a resisting count.

Meyer explained what happened on the morning of March 2 as Lebanon police officers were attempting to serve an unrelated arrest warrant in the 1400 block of Yates Street at a northwest side mobile home community.

Baumgardt and two other men, John Baldwin Jr. and John Baldwin Sr., were seated in a car.

Anthony Baumgardt (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton County Jail)

Police were aware that Baldwin Jr. had an outstanding warrant. The officer yelled, “Don’t do it, Johnny!” but Baldwin drove off, leading police on a ten-minute chase which swung through the Indian Springs Apartment complex a couple miles away.

“John Baldwin Jr. drove the car over and through some yards in between the apartment complex and homes, and crashed into a few parked cars,” Meyer said. “At around this time, Anthony Baumgardt was able to exit the car and fled on foot.”

By the time the car reached the apartment complex, Deputy Pickett and his K9 partner Brik joined the pursuit.

“He released his canine in pursuit of Baumgardt who was on foot,” said Meyer. “He pursued as well. Shots were fired by Baumgardt. One shot struck and killed Deputy Pickett.”

Sources told FOX59 News that Lebanon Police Chief Tyson Warmoth was one of the officers who eventually caught up with Baumgardt and returned fire, striking him.

After his arrest, Baumgardt received his Miranda warning and began to talk, according to Meyer.

“Baumgardt did give a statement to police and in that statement he talks about the deliberate act of shooting at the police officer.”

According to court documents, Baumgardt told police, “I shot a cop… cause they were going to take me to jail.”

At the time of the shooting Baumgardt faced minor theft and criminal recklessness charges in Marion County.

Pickett was pronounced dead at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis just before 1:30 a.m. on Monday after donating his organs. His funeral is set for Friday in Brownsburg.

Baumgardt is housed without bond at the Hamilton County Jail in Noblesville for his own protection.

He will return to Boone County to appear before a judge in an initial hearing Wednesday.

Baldwin Jr. is being held on a $100,000 bond for a probation violation related to an earlier conviction.

Meyer is asking for a $250,000 to hold him on current resisting and potential habitual offender charges.

Baldwin Sr. does not currently face charges related to the Friday pursuit and fatal shooting.

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