In 2017, Kansas City, Missouri personal injury lawyer Tom Pickert was shot and killed in front of his home, after walking his sons home from school.
Before his murder, Pickert won a $5.75 million dollar judgment against David Jungerman, a business owner who shot a homeless man on his property. Jungerman claimed the man was stealing copper from a property he owns. In connection with that judgment, the day before Pickert’s murder, Jungerman was informed his property was being seized to pay the judgment.
Last week, Jungerman was found guilty in the murder of Pickert.
In closing arguments, prosecutors described Jungerman as “twisted,” and as “someone with ice water in their veins.” Also playing a role in the case was a recording authorities recovered of Jungerman seemingly bragging about the murder of Pickert:
Key to prosecutors’ closing argument was the audio recording of Jungerman allegedly admitting that he killed Pickert. [Prosecutor Tim Dollar] said Jungerman joked with Leo Wynne about the shooting. In the recording, Jungerman told Wynne: “When I think about it, I grin. That (expletive) has caused me a lot of problems Leo.”
Dollar then showed jurors a photo from the crime scene that showed Pickert sprawled on the sidewalk in front of his home, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. “What kind of monster would smile or laugh about that?” Dollar said.
“That is what he was talking about. That was in his mind.”
Jungerman is set to be sentenced November 18th. Under state law, the minimum penalty for first degree murder is life in prison without parole. Daniel Ross, Jungerman’s attorney, said they’re planning an appeal.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).