EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) In court Monday, jurors heard the third of three taped interviews Brian Baumgartner gave to police about the night Valarie Ruark was murdered. In each interview, Baumgartner changed his story.
For example, in the first two interviews, Baumgartner denied knowing anything about the murder. In the third interview, he said he was in the house when he heard a gunshot outside and assumed Anthony Wolfe, Jr shot Ruark. Baumgartner says he went outside and Wolfe told him to go back inside.
Baumgartner is accused of helping Wolfe kill Ruark back in 2019. Wolfe was found guilty of murder, abuse of a corpse, and obstruction of justice back in May. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison.
Authorities say Wolfe and Baumgartner believed Ruark was a police informant. She was not. On Friday, a drug dealer told the court that on the night Ruark was murdered, Wolfe told him “We went and picked her up and I shot her.”
Baumgartner claims he never saw Ruark’s dead body, and says he was not involved in moving the body or burning evidence. He says after the shooting, Wolfe spent the next few days remodeling the garage.
Ivory Baumgartner, now Ivory DeWig, also testified. She said she knew Valarie was with Brian and Anthony on the night in question. She said Wolfe showed her the papers which made him believe Ruark was a police informant. Ivory said she left and came back, and then asked what happened to Ruark. Ivory said Brian told her Anthony and Valarie got into a fight and Anthony beat her up and left her on the side of the road. In a recorded statement, Brian told police he did not have any guns, but Ivory said he had a long gun “in the man cave,” which is where the murder apparently took place.
Prosecutors showed surveillance video from Baumgartner’s house of Anthony Wolfe carrying a gun. In the video, Wolfe and Baumgartner are seen in front of a burn pit, and Baumgartner’s van was also seen in the video. The burn pit is where police believe Ruark’s body was burned. A tarp is visible in the picture, police believe Ruark’s body was wrapped in the tarp.
Anthony Wolfe has been transported to the Warrick County Jail, and he is expected to be the first witness on the stand on Tuesday. Ivory was given 18 months of probation for obstruction of justice in the case.