A young Quinby man, who was depressed when he shot at two Accomack deputies and begged them to kill him in front of his house in December 2022, was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison for six felonies related to the incident.
Judge Les L. Lilley presided at the Accomack Circuit Court hearing Thursday. After watching a video of the incident, the judge sentenced 19-year-old Anthony Wayne Baumgardner, of Creekview Lane, to a total of 28 years with all but the eight years suspended for what he called “such a serious crime.”
The defendant previously pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated murder of Sgt. C. Hodgson and Deputy C. Kelon, use of a firearm in each of the attempted murders, damaging a squad car’s window that was shot out, and damaging an occupied neighbor’s house, that was also hit by gunfire. A restitution of more than $1,000 was ordered. Baumgardner’s constitutional right regarding search and seizure was forfeited for five years.
“I’m sorry for what happened that day,” Baumgardner told the judge. “Sorry to the officers and their families.” The defendant wore a white jail jumpsuit and was in chains during the sentencing. He said he hears his mother cry every night when he calls her. “I want to be remembered for the good, not for the bad,” he added. “Have mercy on me.”
After the incident, he was evaluated at Eastern State Hospital, and a new diagnosis was made and new medicine was prescribed.
“I am hopeful from what you’ve told me that the medications have really helped and you can turn everything around,” said Judge Lilley. “I wish you the best of luck. (But) there has to be a reckoning for what happened.”
Defense lawyer Garrett Dunham said the drug has made a huge difference in his client especially compared to when they first met. “Initially, in custody, he had problems in jail, (he) threatened others and officers. He got beat up pretty badly. He expressed worthlessness” and suicide.
Regarding the incident, Dunham said, “He did not fire until after the two (officers) were behind the vehicle. He never had the intention to hurt anyone.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan urged Lilley to give Baumgardner a decade behind bars. “The incident … was really chilling,” said Morgan. “What the officers underwent that day was a police officer’s nightmare. He is only alive because Hodgson personally knew him.” He has “a history of violent outbursts” and a “lengthy presentence report … He posed a danger to the officers that day, himself, and his family, … This defendant engaged in behavior that ended in the best possible way that it could.”
Hodgson and Kelon went to the house that day after, Mary Jane Glaser, who raised Baumgardner, called for help. She testified that Baumgardner drove his pickup into the shed before coming into the house that day. “He was really upset, just saying he wanted to die.” Glaser said the defendant has a history of depression and thoughts of suicide.
Sgt. Hodgson ordered Baumgardner to put the gun down numerous times. He told the shooter that he didn’t want to, but he would shoot the young man if he didn’t comply. Hodgson had pulled his firearm and was pointing it at the defendant.
At one point, Baumgardner urged Hodgson to shoot. “Please shoot me. I’m having a bad day. Come on shoot me.” And at another point, he screamed, “Just kill me. Just kill me. Just kill me.”
Hodgson continued to shout at Baumgardner urging him to put his weapon down. Baumgardner eventually ran out of ammo. He then went inside the house and returned wielding a machete, which he eventually put down.
Glaser did not follow Hodgson’s orders to get away from Baumgardner during the incident. Glaser was convicted of obstruction of justice in the lower court in connection with the incident. She was given a 90-day suspended sentence.
Dunham said the man who became irate during the hearing was Baumgardner’s father. “It was a BB gun,” he stood up and yelled. “Tell it right, it was a … BB gun.” The man was escorted out of the courtroom and could be heard yelling down the hall.