Criminal Justice

A defendant in a lawsuit has been charged with murder after accidentally recording an incriminating remark in the death of the Kansas City, Missouri, lawyer who sued him.

Police charged 80-year-old David Jungerman with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of lawyer Tom Pickert outside his home, report the Kansas City Star (in stories here and here), Fox4KC, ABC News and KCTV5. Police announced the charges on Wednesday.

Pickert, 39, had represented a homeless man who obtained a $5.75 million judgment against Jungerman, a multimillionaire, for shooting and wounding him in 2012. Pickert was shot and killed on Oct. 25, a day after Jungerman was served with property liens to satisfy the judgment in the homeless man’s case.

Jungerman has said he shot and wounded the homeless man in self-defense when he encountered him at night stealing copper at his warehouse in 2012. The homeless man was one of four people on Jungerman’s property that he was accused of shooting and wounding in a month’s time in 2012, according to the Kansas City Star and KCTV5.

Court documents indicate that Jungerman had recorded a court hearing in November, and forgot to turn off the recorder after he left court. He allegedly met another person and said on the recording, “People uh know that I murdered that son of a b—-.” He also allegedly said,” “That motherf—– has caused me a lot of problems, you know.”

Jungerman also allegedly told an employee in March that he had “killed a lawyer with a gun and gotten away with it.”

Jungerman had a white van that resembled the van spotted at the scene of Pickert’s shooting. The license plate of the van near the scene was not known. Police also recovered a .17-caliber bullet from Jungerman’s Toyota, the same type of bullet used to kill Pickert.

When Jungerman was charged in Pickert’s death he was being held without bond for allegedly firing his gun at a man he believed to be stealing pipe from his building.