The 84-year-old was found guilty in the 2017 death of a Kansas City attorney

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Jackson County jury found 84-year-old David Jungerman guilty of the 2017 murder of a Kansas City attorney.

The jury returned the verdict after deliberating for about two hours on Thursday afternoon.

Jungerman was charged charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal activity four years ago, for gunning down Brookside attorney Tom Pickert in his front yard.

The jury found Jungerman guilty on both counts.

The decision came after closing arguments Thursday, during which the state argued Jungerman had motive because he just lost a nearly $6 million civil lawsuit against Pickert’s client.

But Jungerman’s defense questioned the Kansas City Police Department’s investigation, arguing there was fabricated evidence.


The trial began last week with emotional testimony from Pickert’s widow, Emily Riegel, who recalled hearing the gunshot and then finding her husband dead.

“I saw blood coming out of his head. He didn’t move. I just started screaming,” Riegel testified on Sept. 13.

prosecutors too pointed to a video of what they said was Jungerman’s van leaving the scene. However, Jungerman’s defense attorneys argued that the vehicle did not belong to the 84-year-old and questioned the accuracy of the video’s date and time stamp.

They also questioned an audio recording in which prosecutors said Jungerman could be heard saying, “I killed that son of Ab****.”

It’s an audio recording that Jungerman’s attorneys say is incomplete, missing nearly 30 minutes.

Andrew Leroy, the attorney Pickert was on the phone with when he was killed, also testified last week and shared what he remembered of the call.

“I heard a bang and then I heard nothing,” said Leroy.

However, Jungerman’s attorneys argued that the Kansas City Police Department assumed Jungerman was guilty before even gathering all the evidence. The defense also said there have been multiple instances where KCPD failed to file reports or documents were altered.

Responsible for the process

Jungerman’s trial went on three-day hiatus because the 84-year-old was exposed to COVID-19. Jungerman refused to take a COVID-19 test but also had several cognitive exams.

His lawyers filed a motion, arguing that he was unable to continue the trial due to ill health.

After walking into the first day of his trial, Jungerman was wheeled in at a hearing on Tuesday and even had to be shaken up amid disputes about his mental fitness.

Ultimately, the judge ruled Tuesday the trial would go ahead, saying the timing was mixed and he was skeptical of the motives. The 84-year-old was found guilty in the 2017 death of a Kansas City attorney

Sarah Y. Kim

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