Accused cop killer makes bizarre first appearance in court

(WISH Photo)

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH)–The Boone County Sheriff says he heard the man charged with killing Deputy Jacob Pickett say he had “no remorse” on his way into court for an initial hearing Wednesday.

The suspect, Anthony Baumgardt, 21, looked at Sheriff Mike Nielsen before the hearing and said, “Can I ask you a question, sheriff? Just one question.”

The sheriff stood silent. If Baumgardt asked him a question, it was not audible. Nielsen said Baumgardt was just trying to get under his skin.

“I don’t think I could express what that means,” Nielsen said. “It was a senseless shooting. It didn’t have to happen. And he don’t care that it happened. And that hurt deep inside.”

Baumgardt faces charges of murder, drug possession and carrying a gun without a license.

He asked the judge if he could enter a guilty plea Wednesday. The judge said he’d enter a not guilty plea on his behalf and said Baumgardt can change it within 20 days.

Just before the hearing, the suspect swayed in his chair, yawned and asked aloud, “What time is it?”

“I will not stoop down to his level. I did not cry in there because he will not get to me,” Nielsen said. “What I’ll tell you is, I’ll be at every hearing and every trial and so will his (Deputy Pickett’s) canine partner Brik.”

Baumgardt asked the judge if it would “make any difference” if he sought the death penalty for himself. The judge advised him not to make any more comments.

After the hearing, Prosecutor Todd Meyer said he’s leaning toward pursuing the death penalty.

“I’ve had some defendants say some strange things before, but this one….” Meyer said. “I can’t say I’ve ever really experienced anything of that sort.”

Meyer didn’t go into specifics but said Baumgardt’s lack of remorse could affect how prosecutors move forward.

“I think we all have very high emotions right now,” Nielsen said. “I think we have to keep those emotions in check.”

The court appointed Baumgardt an attorney.

The judge set a jury trial date for July 31, to which Baumgardt responded, “How many months away is that?”

(Below, see the video of Baumgardt outside the Boone County Courthouse. App users click here to see the video at the end of this story.)