Though Anthony Baumgardt may have originally requested the death penalty after he was charged with the murder of Boone County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jake Pickett in March 2018, that won’t be the case. Prosecutors originally planned to seek the death penalty, but then Sheriff Mike Nielsen announced a plea deal in April. Baumgardt changed his plea to guilty to avoid the death penalty.
Baumgardt was sentenced to life in prison without parole May 29. He faced charges of murder, resisting law enforcement and carrying a handgun without a license.
Jake, 34, was a Zionsville resident. He was shot while in pursuit of Baumgardt, with his K-9 partner, Brik. Baumgardt also was shot in the pursuit. Jake was the first BCSO deputy to be killed in the line of duty since 1935.
Shortly after the sentencing, Jake’s wife, Jen Pickett, released a statement. A portion of the statement said Jen agreed with Baumgardt’s sentencing of life without parole. She also stated she wouldn’t let the “single, selfish action” define the life of her, Jake and their two sons. Part of the statement reads:
“That shot you knowingly turned and fired that stole Jake from us is only one horrific, traumatic part of our story, but it will not be the whole story. When I think of our children’s future and the future that you stole from them, I will not allow you to take up any more of their lives with a death sentence that will drag on for 20-30 years with frequent hearings that will constantly reopen the wound you created. My boys deserve better. I deserve better. And you do not deserve one more minute of our time or energy. You have stolen a future that was promised to us. You have stolen a father from two little boys. We promised to be a family to them and in one selfish act, you robbed them of a lifetime of happiness with their daddy. You have stolen their innocence. They now believe this world is full of evil murderers like you. Daily routines such as car rides to sporting events and bedtimes include conversations I should never have to have with children who recall graphic details of their father’s death … details that include images of the bandage around Jake’s head, the bruising of his eyes, and the stillness of his body in the hospital bed as he laid there on life support.”
The statement said she and the Picketts’ boys will continue to rise up.
“But here is what you can never take from them. You cannot take their ability to rise up…and they will. They will succeed. They will move through the tragedy and heartache you created and will do so with courage and grace,” the statement read. “Jacob selflessly loved others, served others and cared for others. We will live the way Jake taught us because you cannot steal his legacy.”