Criminal Justice

Jury finds millionaire litigant guilty in lawyer's murder

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David Jungerman. Image from the Jackson County Detention Center inmate search website.

A Missouri man has been found guilty of murdering a Kansas City, Missouri, lawyer who obtained a $5.75 million judgment against him for shooting and wounding a homeless man.

Jurors in Jackson County, Missouri, deliberated for about two hours Thursday before finding 84-year-old David Jungerman of Raytown, Missouri, guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action, report the Kansas City Star, KCUR and the Associated Press. The publications variously describe Jungerman as a millionaire and a multimillionaire.

The slain lawyer was Tom Pickert of Kansas City, who was shot outside his home in October 2017. The shooting happened one day after Jungerman was served with property liens that would have prevented him from transferring property that could satisfy the judgment.

Jungerman has said he caught the homeless man stealing copper from his warehouse in 2012, and the shooting was self-defense.

Tim Dollar, an assistant Jackson County prosecutor, argued during closing arguments that Jungerman had “ice water” in his veins. Dollar cited a conversation that appeared to be accidentally recorded by Jungerman in which he bragged about the murder to his farmhand. Authorities found the recording in a search of Jungerman’s home.

Police also found a manila folder labeled “Pickert Murder” in their searches of Jungerman’s home and business.

Jungerman’s lawyer said an appeal is planned.

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