Holcomb orders flags lowered to honor slain Boone deputy

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is directing that flags be lowered to half-staff in four counties in honor of slain Boone County sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Pickett on the day of his funeral.

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office said his order calls for lowered flags from sunrise to sunset Friday, when Pickett’s funeral will be held at a Brownsburg church. The order includes Boone, Hendricks and Marion counties, along with Tipton County, where Pickett previously was a sheriff’s deputy.

Authorities say the 34-year-old Pickett was fatally shot Friday during a foot chase in Lebanon.

An initial court hearing is scheduled Wednesday afternoon for 21-year-old Anthony Baumgardt of Lebanon on a murder charge in Pickett's death.

Baumgardt was charged Tuesday with Pickett’s killing and told detectives that he fired the fatal shot because he feared being arrested again.

Baumgardt wasn’t being sought by officers when the chase began. They were looking to arrest a woman wanted on a warrant and saw another man facing an arrest warrant who fled in a stolen car in which Baumgardt was riding, according to court documents. Pickett and his police dog were pursuing Baumgardt after he ran away from the car when the deputy was shot in Lebanon, about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

While Baumgardt was being treated in a hospital after he was wounded when other officers returned fire, he told a detective “I shot a cop … cause they were going to take me to jail,” the probable cause affidavit says.

Baumgardt faced a Marion County arrest warrant for missing a court hearing on a felony theft charge. He also had a 2016 Boone County felony methamphetamine conviction.

Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer said he was leaning toward seeking the death penalty against Baumgardt, who also faces charges of resisting law enforcement and illegal handgun, methamphetamine and marijuana possession. Court and jail records on Tuesday didn’t list an attorney for Baumgardt.

Baumgardt’s father said Monday he’s more concerned about the deputy’s family than his son. Robert Baumgardt told WTHR-TV that his son quit school, left home about five years ago and got caught up in drugs and related crimes.

“He just went down the wrong road, had the attitude he don’t care,” the elder Baumgardt said. “You can’t help somebody that can’t be helped.”

He said his heart goes out to Pickett’s wife and two young children.

No one else faces charges directly related to Pickett’s death, but Meyer said ownership of the handgun and the actions of other people remained under investigation.

Pickett, 34, had been a Boone County deputy for nearly three years after two years with the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department.

Pickett’s services begin with visitation from 2-7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, according to the sheriff’s department. His funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Connection Pointe Christian Church in Brownsburg, the Indianapolis suburb where Pickett grew up and graduated from Brownsburg High School in 2002.

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