BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — The Boone County prosecutor announced that he plans on seeking the death penalty against a man charged with fatally shooting Deputy Jacob Pickett.
The Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer held a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon to make the announcement.
Prosecutor Meyer stated: “I have given this decision considerable thought and deliberation and, after speaking with the victim’s family, presenting the case to the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council’s capital litigation committee and after meeting with members of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, I have concluded that seeking a death sentence in this case is the right decision.”
Prosecutor Meyer further stated: “The men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line each and every day to keep the citizens of Boone County safe and out of harm’s way. When someone takes the life of a police officer, by intentionally killing him/her, while he/she is acting in the line of duty, then that person should have to face the ultimate penalty, which, in the State of Indiana, is a sentence of death.”
Prosecutor Meyer also said: “The events surrounding Deputy Pickett’s murder remain under investigation and I anticipate filing additional charges against others associated with Deputy Pickett’s murder in the very near future.” Meyer went on to state: “It has always been my intention to hold any and all who are in some way responsible for Deputy Pickett’s murder accountable, and every day, we are getting closer to being able to do that – but it takes time. The investigators on this case and my office have been working diligently to gather the information and evidence needed to support additional charges and, as I said, we should be in a position to file those charges very soon.” “It is also noteworthy to point out, so that the community at large does not feel threatened in any way, that the principal targets of these additional charges are currently in custody on both related and unrelated cases,” said Prosecutor Meyer.
Pickett was assisting Lebanon police with a vehicle pursuit in March when two suspects bailed from the car and ran. Pickett continued the pursuit on foot and was shot in the head by 21-year-old Anthony Baumgardt, according to Indiana State Police.
The Boone County Prosecutor officially charged Baumgardt, 21, with murder in March. 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.
Meyer said then that he was 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 was reviewing the case for the purpose of seeking the death penalty.
Baumgardt is being held in the Hamilton County Jail without bond and his trial date is currently scheduled for July 31, 2018. Judge Petit will conduct an initial hearing on the State’s request for imposition of the death sentence on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.
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.