Jury reaches verdict in Baumgartner murder trial
WARRICK CO., Ind. (WFIE) - The jury finished deliberating just before 3 p.m. Wednesday in the murder trial of 46-year-old Brian Baumgartner.
They found him guilty on all counts, including aiding, inducing, or causing murder, abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice and false informing.
He was also convicted of a habitual offender charge.
Officials say he’s facing 45-65 years on the first charge, plus more for the habitual offender charge.
“It’s bittersweet,” Warrick County prosecutor Michael Perry said. “They’ve gotten justice for their daughter, their loved one, but they no longer have their loved one with them. It’s bittersweet they’ve got the justice they asked for, but at the end of the day, they don’t get to put their arms around her, so it’s an emotional situation.”
“When you put months and in this case, years into something and the outcome comes to a head, that’s disappointing, but that’s normal,” Warren Mathies, Baumgartner’s attorney said. “I have to say this is the most active jury we’ve found, they took notes, they were intent on everything that happened.”
Baumgartner is one of three people accused in the death of Valerie Ruark in 2019. This is week two of his trial.
Ruark’s family was sitting front row in the courtroom, they broke down in tears when the verdict came in.
He took the stand Tuesday to testify.
Closing arguments were presented Wednesday morning, and the jury began deliberations around 11:15 a.m.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 2.
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