Man convicted in shooting death of Kansas City attorney who won case against him


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An 84-year-old man was convicted Thursday of shooting and killing a Kansas City attorney who secured a multi-million judgment against him in a civil lawsuit.

A Jackson County jury deliberated approximately two hours before convicting David Jungerman, of Raytown, of first degree murder and felony felony with a weapon on Oct. 25, 2017, in the death of 39-year-old Tom Pickert, who was shot in front of home after returning from accompanying his children to school.

Prosecutors argued Jungerman shot Pickert because he was upset that the attorney had won a $5.75 million judgment for a homeless man who Jungerman shot in 2012 because he believed the man was stealing from one of his companies.

“We are very, very grateful that the jury has spoken and that justice has finally been served for this family,” Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Tim Dollar said after the verdict was announced.

Sentencing was scheduled for November 18. Jungerman’s attorney, Daniel Ross, said they plan to appeal.

Prosecutors said 10 days before Pickert was shot, a garnishment was filed against Jungerman. The day before Pickert was shot, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office served Jungerman with real estate liens that would have prevented Jungerman from selling or transferring his property.

During the trial, prosecutors played an audio recording of Jungerman bragging about the murder to his farmhand, Kansas City media reported. Jungerman apparently recorded the conversation by accident, and it was later discovered by authorities during a search of his home.

“What bothers me a bit about myself is that when I think about it, I smile. It (expletive) got me in a lot of trouble,” Jungerman said on the audio.

Dollar said during closing arguments that the tape showed Jungerman had “freezing water” running through his veins.

“These two people are laughing,” Dollar said. “That’s what he’s thinking when he says it makes me smile. What kind of monster would smile or laugh about that? That’s what he’s talking about. That’s what he had in mind.”

Jungerman’s defense argued that the police investigation was botched, with reports missing and evidence destroyed. They said about a quarter of Jungerman’s audio recording was missing.

“The state (prosecutors) ignored the facts. Why?” Ross said. “Because this guy had a judgment against him and the lawyer who got it is dead, so he’s guilty. And that’s been their approach since October 2017.”

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