LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) — Formal charges against the man accused of fatally shooting Deputy Jacob Pickett were announced Tuesday. He is also scheduled to make his first court appearance in the case at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The Boone County Prosecutor officially charged Anthony Baumgardt, 21, with murder. He also faces two charges of possession of methamphetemine, two charges of carrying a handgun without a license, a charge of resisting law enforcement and two charges of possession of marijuana.
Prosecutor Todd Meyer said during a Tuesday news conference that he’s leaning toward the death penalty and that Indiana law allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty for anyone accused see of murdering a police officer. Meyer’s office is now reviewing the case for the purpose of seeking the death penalty. He’s looking at the evidence, Baumgardt’s character and his background. Meyer said it’s not a decision he’ll make lightly.
Baumgardt is believed to be the person who fired the fatal shot at Pickett while he was assisting Lebanon Police Department with a vehicle pursuit. Pickett chased the suspects after they bailed from the vehicle and was shot in the head by Baumgardt, according to officials.
While being interviewed by investigators, Baumgardt said that he “shot a cop” because “they were going to take me to jail.” It was later confirmed that Baumgardt had an active warrant for his arrest that was issued on Feb. 22.
The other two suspects involved in the incident were John Baldwin Jr. and John Baldwin Sr. The former is currently being held in the Boone County Jail, while the latter was questioned and later released.
Baldwin Jr. was charged with resisting law enforcement, auto theft, leaving the scene if an accident, criminal recklessness and being a Habitual felony offender.
Baldwin Sr. has not been charged Meyer said, “He is certainly a person who is a party of the events. As the evidence leads us in certain directions, if he or others, if it is warranted to file charges against him, in turn charges will be filed.”
According to the probable cause, the chase lasted for 10 minutes where the driver, Baldwin Jr., led police through alleys, yards and other streets. Baumgardt eventually exited the vehicle when Baldwin Jr. collided with two other vehicles in a parking lot. The deputy exited his vehicle and engaged in an on foot pursuit with Baumgardt in the area of the 700 block of Indian Springs Road. Baumgardt eventually turned and fired the fatal shot toward Pickett. Responding officers later shot Baldwin Jr. and took him into custody.
Watch the full announcement of charges below. App users go here to view the video at the end of this story.