Indiana Suspect in Deputy's Killing Asks Judge If He Can Seek the Death Penalty

Suspect in killing of deputy asks judge if he can ask for the death penalty.
Anthony Baumgardt is accused of murder. Boone County Sheriff's Dept.

The accused killer of deputy Jacob Pickett asks if he can seek the death penalty.

An Indiana man accused of shooting to death a sheriff's deputy asked a judge if he could seek the death penalty against himself.

Anthony Baumgardt, 21, after being asked in court if he understood the charges against him, had a question of his own.

"Is the death penalty going to be seeked (sic) for this?" he asked Judge Bruce Petit earlier this week. "If I were to seek it out on my own, would that change anything? You know, enter my guilty plea now and seek the death penalty?

"I was just wondering my options, sir."

Baumgardt is charged with the murder of Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett, 34, who was shot to death while chasing Baumgardt with his K9 partner. 

On his way into the courthouse, reporters asked Baumgardt if he was sorry for what happened to the deputy, who was the father of two. "Nope," he replied, the Indianapolis Star reported. "I didn't want to get bit by a dog," he said. 

In court, Baumgardt was told that whether to see the death penalty was something that would be decided by prosecutors.

Baumgardt had several outbursts during his hearing, at one point yawning loudly and asking what time it was. He tried to pose questions to the sheriff, but was ignored, the Star reported.

He has been charged with murder, two felony counts of meth possession, a misdemeanor count of possessing marijuana and resisting law enforcement. A jury trial has been scheduled for July 31.

He allegedly ran from deputies as they were serving an unrelated arrest warrant last week. According to authorities, the deputies recognized Baumgardt as being wanted for theft and attempted to take him into custody. He ran, deputies said, turning to fire a gun and striking Pickett.