Alleged cop killer Anthony Baumgardt [photo], who says he feels “no remorse” for fatally shooting Deputy Jacob Pickett, asked a judge at his court hearing if he could seek the death penalty for himself
The suspect accused of killing an Indiana police officer asked the judge at his court hearing if he could “seek the death penalty,” before prosecutors could even decide whether they wanted to pursue it.
Anthony Baumgardt, 21, is charged with the murder of Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett, who was shot and killed last Friday while chasing Baumgardt and two others who fled when police approached.
Jacob Pickett a 34-year-old married father of two young children had died on Monday. The K-9 officer was shot in the head Friday while chasing fleeing suspects in Lebanon, about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis, and he was kept alive so his organs could be donated.
Officers were actually there to serve an unrelated arrest warrant to a woman who lived nearby when they recognized one of the men and knew there was a warrant out for his arrest, police say.
The chase began about 9:30 a.m. Friday after officers serving an arrest warrant for a woman noticed 28-year-old John D. Baldwin Jr., who was facing an arrest warrant for probation violation.
Officers ordered Baldwin to stop, instead he got into a car with his 55-year-old father and the eventual shooter, Baumgardt. The trio fled the scene, with Deputies in pursuit.
Cops chased the three men in their vehicle through the streets of Lebanon, for about ten minutes before the occupants all got out of the car and ran from officers.
Pickett and other officers joined the chase. Deputy Pickett, along with his K-9 Brik, began to chase Baumgardt. The suspect at one point pulled out a 9mm handgun, turned around and shot at Pickett multiple times.
Baumgardt shot Deputy Jacob Pickett [photo], a married father-of-two, during a foot chase on Friday ‘because he didn’t want to go back to jail’
The officer, was struck at least once. Baumgardt was also shot by police, but suffered only minor injuries, the outlet reports. He was taken into custody after the shooting.
When questioned by police, Baumgardt said he shot Pickett because he didn’t want to go back to jail, the Indianapolis Star reports.
He had an outstanding open warrant for failure to appear in Marion County on charges of criminal mischief and theft.
After the interrogation Baumgardt was booked on murder charges.
Appearing in court on Wednesday, the defendant inquired if he could pursue the death penalty on his own, the Indianapolis Star reports.
“Is the death penalty going to be seeked [Sic] for this?” he asked.
After being told that is up to prosecutors to decide, Baumgardt responded by asking “If I were to seek it out on my own, would that change anything? You know, enter my guilty plea now and seek the death penalty?”
Mugshots of John Baldwin Sr. [left], the shooter Anthony Baumgardt [center] and the man who created the police chase, John D. Baldwin Jr. [right]. So far, Baldwin Sr. has not been charged
The judge informed the suspect that the potential sentence would not be up to him to decide. As he left the courthouse, Baumgardt stated that he had “no remorse” for what befell Deputy Pickett and that he “didn’t want to get bit by a dog.”
Following the hearing, County Prosecutor Todd Meyer compared Baumgardt to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who also requested the death penalty.
“I’ve heard some defendants say some strange things in court, but this one … no, I can’t say I’ve ever really experienced anything of that sort under the circumstances he faces,” Meyer told the Indianapolis Star. “That was bizarre.”
For Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen, Baumgardt’s lack of remorse was disturbing.
“I don’t think I can express what that means because that was a senseless death,” Nielsen said.
“It was a senseless shooting that didn’t have to happen, and he doesn’t care that it happened. And that hurt deep inside, but we move on.”
Baumgardt who is being held without bond at the Hamilton County Jail, is facing charges of murder, two counts of possession of methamphetamine, carrying a handgun without a license, two counts of possession of marijuana and a count of resisting law enforcement.
His next hearing is scheduled for May 16. Trial date is set for July 31.
The man who sparked off the chase, Baldwin Jr., also faces two counts of resisting law enforcement, leaving the scene of an accident and criminal recklessness, online records show.
Baldwin Jr., 28, already had two outstanding warrants for two different probation violations in two separate criminal cases. His dad,John Baldwin Sr., was not charged in connection with the chase.