Boone County prosecutor 'leaning' toward seeking death penalty against Deputy
Pickett's suspected shooter
The Boone County prosecutor has filed murder, drug and gun charges against
21-year-old Anthony Baumgardt, the Lebanon man accused of killing Sheriffs
Deputy Jacob Pickett last week.
Pickett was gunned down while assisting Lebanon Police in the pursuit of
Baumgardt and 2 other men as they fled from the scene of an attempt to serve an
arrest warrant in a Lebanon mobile home park.
Baumgardt was not the officers' original target, but he was recognized as being
wanted on his own outstanding warrant which led to the pursuit.
Baumgardt faces a charge of murder, 2 counts of possession of methamphetamine,
2 handgun charges, 2 marijuana charges and a count of resisting law
He was wounded by Lebanon Police Chief Tyson Warmoth after Pickett was fatally
Baumgardt was treated for his injuries and is being held at the Hamilton County
Jail. According to charging documents, Baumgardt told police, "I shot a cop
because they were going to take me to jail."
Warmoth is on a 10-day administrative leave, according to Lebanon Police
sources, to, "decompress." The sources stress the leave is not disciplinary.
Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer and the sheriff's office held a press
conferment on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the charges and the investigation.
"This has been one of the most difficult events of my career," said Meyer.
"Officer Pickett was a tremendous person and an outstanding police officer who
wanted nothing but the best for his community. He was a pleasure to work with
and he will be deeply missed. I extend my sincere condolences and sympathy to
Deputy Pickett's wife and children and the other members of his family, as well
as the entire Boone County law enforcement community - they are all in my
thoughts and prayers."
Meyer said his office will continue to review the facts of the case to
determine whether any additional charges will be filed. He said in Indiana the
law allows the state to seek the death penalty for anyone accused of murdering
a police officer while on duty.
"My final decision on whether to file for the death penalty will take time, but
I can say this - based on the facts and circumstances as I understand them
today, that is the direction I am leaning and as soon as I have made that
decision, I will update the public in that regard."
Pickett's K9 partner Brik was at the press conference this afternoon. "This is
one of the few times that Brik has left Jake's side, but I felt it was
important for him to be here and listen to Prosecutor Meyer, Superintendent
Carter, and my prepared statement," Boone County Sheriff Nielsen said.
(source: Fox News)
Court upholds death penalty case in Stella girl's murder
A conviction and the death sentence in the murder of 9-year-old Rowan Ford 11
years ago was upheld Tuesday by the Missouri Supreme Court.
The court did not find any reason to overturn the conviction of Christopher
Collings, 42, who is in custody at the Mineral Point Correctional Center.
His attorney argued in November that at Collings' jury trial, his attorneys
failed to investigate his history of alcohol abuse and drug addiction to
provide the basis for the defense's case.
The state argued it was not a failure but a strategic trial decision. The court
was told that the defense explored the question of raising that issue by hiring
at least three trained professionals on alcohol intoxication and abuse as
consultants but did not call any of them to testify.
Collings was convicted of 1st-degree murder in the sexual assault and
strangulation of the girl. She had been taken from her home in Stella in the
middle of the night. After a week of searches, her body was discovered in the
bottom of a cave in McDonald County. A ligature was used in her strangulation.
Collings' appellate attorney, Amy Bartholow, told the state's high court that
her client's conviction was based on 2 legal fictions: that Collings acted as a
sober being that night and that his brain was able to form accurate memories on
which his later statements to police were based.
"Christopher's trial counsel failed to introduce significant evidence of his
lifelong addiction to alcohol and drugs, and his severe intoxication on the
night of the crime to rebut the state's evidence of deliberation or to
challenge the inference of deliberation that the state drew from his
confessions," Bartholow told the court.
Bartholow told the court there was reason to believe that Collings may have
consumed the equivalent of at least 30 beers and that such consumption was
almost certain to have caused a blackout level of impairment of his brain and
the loss of the ability to form reliable memories. She claimed that the
statements Collings made to investigators are "the only evidence against him"
but are based on memories that the court should not have considered reliable
because of his level of intoxication the night of the crime.
Collings confessed to the crime and gave a statement detailing how he went to
the girl's home and took her, sleeping, to his home in Wheaton and raped her.
He told authorities he kept the lights off and did not speak in hopes she would
not recognize him, but when he took her back outside to return her home, he saw
by the look on her face she recognized him. Then he took a wire from his truck
and strangled her, burning it and other items involved in the crime, such as
the bedding, after he dumped her body.
However, the girl's stepfather, David Spears, made what investigators would
later determine to be a false confession to the crime. Spears' claim that he
killed the girl was used as the defense at Collings' trial. Spears in 2012
pleaded guilty to reduced charges of child endangerment and hindering
prosecution, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
(source: The Joplin Globe)
Man Accused Of Setting Mother On Fire Could Face Death Penalty
36-year old Israel Guardado Ramirez was initially facing an attempted murder
charge but after his mother died from the burns she sustained, Ramirez is now
eligible for the death penalty.
"I couldn't believe that a son would be capable of doing that to his mother,"
said Deirdre Rodriguez, the victims niece.
The charges against him changing from attempted murder to murder after his
mother, 61-year-old Francisca Ramirez died from her injuries. According to
police, Ramirez doused his mother with a flammable liquid and set her on fire
outside of the Mathis Brothers Furniture store in Indio.
"We learned there was some type of dispute between her and her son over child
custody," said Sgt. Dan Marshall of the Indio Police Department.
"Just arguments within the family. It's starts with bickering and then it just
grows," said Rodriguez.
The details of the dispute are unclear. The victim was airlifted to a hospital
with severe burns covering more than half of her body.
"We realized that it was horrific. That this person actually was on fire. It
affected my whole team and the team that actually worked it," said Marshall.
"How could one person harm another person in such a manner to torture them to
the point there body is charred," said Rodriguez.
Ramirez is due back in court for a felony settlement conference on Friday.
(source: KMIR news)
New details emerge in Fremont cold-case killings; suspect could be eligible for
Court documents reveal that the man accused of killing 2 best friends 32 years
ago also is accused of raping the women.
David Emery Misch, 57, was charged with 2 counts of murder in the February 1986
slayings of Michelle Xavier, 18, and Jennifer Duey, 20. Court documents also
reveal that the 2 women, who were found naked on the side of a Mill Creek Road,
Misch is charged with special circumstances of felony murder during the course
of a rape, use of a gun, and murder with a prior murder conviction, court
The special circumstances of murder in the commission of a rape, and multiple
murders, could make Misch eligible for the death penalty, should Alameda County
District Attorney Nancy O???Malley consider it.
Misch was already serving a sentence of 18 years to life in connection with an
East Bay homicide that happened in December 1989, 3 years after the Fremont
slayings. In that case, 36-year-old Margaret N. Ball was found stabbed to death
in her Hayward home. He was convicted of 2nd-degree murder in 1990 in Alameda
County Superior Court.
Misch also has another prior felony conviction, assault with a deadly weapon;
he was convicted in that case in 1982.
After Xavier and Duey were found dead, a police sergeant found Xavier's car, a
Pontiac Sunbird, approximately 6 miles away from the crime scene in the parking
lot of the Mission Valley Shopping Center.
Earlier that evening, the women had attended a birthday dinner for a family
member. They were last seen together about 8 p.m. at a convenience store in the
area of Farwell Drive and Mowry Avenue. Authorities never found any of their
personal belongings, including purses and identification.
Authorities did not reveal what the suspect's motive may have been, citing the
Death penalty: Prolonging life in prison a mistake
Re: "Bill to end death penalty advances in Senate," (TNT, 2/15).
It took 10 years and $15 million in Florida to execute Ted Bundy. Not very cost
effective for the taxpayers.
If we eliminate the possibility of the death penalty by law, then we need to be
more aggressive with how we deal with the sentence of "life in prison without
The individual is supposed to die in prison. His/her life is not supposed to be
extended with organ transplants, cancer treatments, life-saving measures to
The only health-related measures this prisoner should receive are prescriptions
to ease pain so he/she dies a peaceful/painless/comfortable death.
No antibiotics, no vaccines, nothing medically to cure him/her of anything that
may be contracted while incarcerated. Let nature take its course to let this
Any prisoner with the sentence of life without parole should have a
do-not-resuscitate order mandated by law. After all, isn't this individual in
prison to die?
(source: Letter to the Editor; Kenneth Severe----thenewstribune.com)
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu
DeathPenalty mailing list