Suspect accused of murdering Boone County deputy asks for change of venue

Anthony Baumgardt in a March 3, 2018 booking photo. (Photo: Boone County Jail)
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LEBANON, Ind. (WTHR) - The man accused of killing Boone County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Pickett wants his case moved out of Boone County.

Anthony Baumgardt's attorney's filed the request for a change of venue on June 7, and the prosecutor's office has 10 days to respond.

The Boone County prosecutor is asking for the death penalty if Baumgardt, 21, is convicted of the March 2 shooting. Investigators say police were trying to arrest a woman who was wanted on a warrant, when they spotted another man who was also wanted. That man took off in a stolen car and Baumgardt was the passenger, according to court documents. Police chased the vehicle and eventually Baumgardt got out and ran away on foot. Investigators say Baumgardt then pulled a gun and shot at Pickett and his K-9 partner, Brik.

Pickett died from his injuries. Brik is recovering, now living at home with Pickett's family.

Investigators say Baumgardt confessed to the shooting while he was being questioned at the hospital. The court records say he told a detective, "I shot a cop…'cause they were going to take me to jail." At the time of the shooting, Baumgardt had outstanding arrest warrants in three counties. Several were related to probation violations, and a Marion County warrant was issued because he failed to show up for a hearing in a theft case.

The Boone County prosecutor is expected to respond to the change of venue request by next week. The judge does not have a required timetable for making a decision on the motion. In some cases, a judge will rule quickly, but in other cases, the judge will wait until a trial is imminent before deciding whether it will be held in the original county. If the judge does agree to a change of venue, the entire case can be moved to another county, or jurors from elsewhere can be brought in to Boone County.

The trial was originally scheduled for July 31, but as expected, that date was canceled. The court has not set a new trial date yet, but earlier this year, attorneys told Eyewitness News they expected it might be a year-and-a-half before a trial would begin.

Baumgardt faces eight charges, including murder, being a felon with a handgun, carrying a handgun without a license, and possession of marijuana and methamphetamine.

Pickett, 34, served in the Boone County Sheriff's Office for about three years. He previously worked for the Tipton County Sheriff's Office. Pickett grew up in Brownsburg and left behind a wife and two young children.