Crime Watch 8

Man accused in killing of Boone County deputy to plead guilty

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) — The man accused of shooting and killing a Boone County deputy will change his plea in the case to guilty, the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.

Anthony Baumgardt was officially charged with the murder of Deputy Jacob Pickett in March of 2018. 

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.

Baumgardt’s sentencing has been set for 9 a.m. May 29.

“Since Baumgardt has not pled guilty and has not been sentenced, Prosecutor Eastwood cannot make any further comment on this development,” the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement released to media. “Upon completion of the sentencing hearing, Prosecutor Eastwood will make a statement.”

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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.

Sheriff Mike Nielsen on Friday afternoon released this statement about the expected plea: 

I would ask that each of you remember Jake today and his ultimate sacrifice, and not focus on this murderer. Continue to pray for Jen, the boys, Jake’s family, and the Public Safety Officers in Boone County. This news opens up deep emotional wounds that have been healing over the last 13 months and 24 days, since Jake was taken from us.

Over the last couple of months, we have had much communication about a plea agreement. I have spoken to family, I have talked with the Prosecutor and we have all met together to discuss options moving forward with the case. When it comes down to it, Jen and the family are what matters most. We will stand strong beside them on what they want. We will continue to walk this journey with them. As far as the details of the plea, I cannot discuss them until they are revealed at the hearing.”

Remember blessed are the peacemakers. We are losing too many public servants. Pray for their safety daily.