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Man charged in murder of Brookside attorney

Posted at 12:03 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 18:21:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A man initially interviewed in connection with the October 2017 death of Brookside attorney Tom Pickert now faces murder charges in the case.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced the charges Wednesday at her downtown office.

David Jungerman, who was initially questioned after Pickert's homicide outside his Brookside home but was later not deemed a suspect in the death, now faces first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges in Pickert’s death.

On Wednesday, the prosecutor's office released information about the investigation which led to the charges.

Pickert was shot and killed in the front yard of his Brookside home on the morning of October 25, 2017, shortly after walking his kids to school. He was shot once by a .17 caliber round, which is relatively rare according to the prosecutor's office.

Jungerman, 80, lost a civil judgment totaling $5.75 million in a case Pickert was an attorney on just days before the homicide.

Later, on March 8, a search warrant was obtained for the defendant's car, and under the passenger seat, officials found an unspent .17 caliber bullet.

In addition to the bullet, Jungerman and his vehicle matched descriptions given by witnesses.

According to court records, a white van was tracked traveling from around Raytown to Pickert's neighborhood. 

A man walking his dog nearby said he saw an older white man with gray hair standing behind a white van parked directly across from Pickert's house.

Jungerman owns a white van and told media outlets that no one used his van that day and that only he had a key.

Another witness told police he talked to Jungerman in March, and during that conversation, Jungerman said he had killed a lawyer and gotten away with it because the lawyer stole his money.

Police recently executed search warrants at Jungerman's home and business. At his business, police found a print out from the Jackson County property tax database that showed Pickert's home address. 

Police also found an audio recording on which Jungerman talked with an employee about a .17 caliber rifle and about killing Pickert.

In March, prosecutors charged Jungerman with shooting at a suspect who was allegedly stealing metal pipes from his business. 41 Action News obtained exclusive video of a raid of Jungerman’s business associated with that arrest.

At the time, prosecutors requested a $1 million bond, raising questions as to if additional charges might be forthcoming. Prosecutors declined to comment on the bond amount at the time.

Prosecutors have requested that Jungerman be held on no bond.