A jury in Jackson County, Missouri needed roughly two hours of deliberations to convict an 84-year-old millionaire of murdering an attorney in front of the victim’s home back in 2017.
David Jungerman, born in March 1938, was found guilty of murdering Kansas City lawyer Thomas Pickert, an attorney, husband, and father of two.
Prosecutors said that the murder took place on Oct. 25, 2017 in front of Pickert’s Kansas City home. A jury was persuaded that the murder was connected to a multi-million dollar judgment Pickert won against Jungerman.
“Before the shooting, the victim had obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $5.75 million against David Jungerman, of Raytown on behalf of his client. The day before the murder, Jungerman was served property liens by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office,” Jackson County prosecutors said last Thursday.
Pickert’s obituary said that before he was a lawyer the Missouri-born man earned degrees and French and philosophy — and even studied in Paris.
“He attended University of Kansas School of Law, graduating in 2004. While in law school, Tom participated in the Environmental Law Moot Court and was a member of the KU Law Review,” the obituary continued. “He worked as a law clerk for two years before taking a position as an associate at Logan, Logan and Watson in Prairie Village, KS. After 7 years, he and his law school classmate started their own law firm, Fowler Pickert, LLC.”
Listing athletic accomplishments as well, the obituary said Pickert’s “greatest achievement in life was the life he built with Emily, his wife of 16 years.”
The couple had two sons.
Dr. Emily Riegel reportedly testified at trial that her husband was shot in front of their home after dropping off their children at school.
KCUR reported Riegel saying through tears that she knew her husband was dead because there was “so much blood coming out of the sidewalk.”
“I was screaming for help,” she recalled, noting that the suspect was linked to a white van.
“The defendant owns a white van and told the media that no one used his van that day and that he had the only key to that van. A witness – a man walking his dog — told police that he saw an older white man with grey hair standing behind an idling white van,” prosecutors said. “The fatal bullet, according to court records, was identified as a .17 caliber round, a relatively rare caliber.”
Authorities said a search of the white van in question only uncovered more evidence.
“On March 8, 2018, a search warrant was obtained for the defendant’s car. Under the passenger seat an unspent .17 caliber bullet was located,” prosecutors said.
Even more damning, however, was a recording.
“At [Jungerman’s] business, police found a print out from the Jackson County property tax database. It showed the victim’s home address. An Olympus audio recorder with a recording was recovered,” prosecutors said. “The first part of the recording captured a court hearing that the defendant attended in November 2017. But after the hearing, the recorder continued to run. Later, the defendant talked to his employee about a .17 caliber rifle and about killing the victim.”
The defendant’s lawyer Daniel Ross, calling the verdict disappointing in comments to the Kansas City Star, vowed to seek a new trial and appeal.
Sentencing has been set for Nov. 18, prosecutors said.
[Image via KBMC YouTube/screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]