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Suspect in slaying accidentally taped himself confessing: police

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By Ian Cummings And Glenn E. Rice, The Kansas City Star
KANSAS CITY, Mo.

An 80-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death last fall of Kansas City attorney Tom Pickert.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced the charges Wednesday at a news conference at the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office in Kansas City.

David Jungerman is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the killing of Pickert, was found shot to death Oct. 25 on the front porch of his home in the 200 block of West 66th Terrace.

The case had remained unsolved for months. In November, Kansas City police said Jungerman, who had fallen under media scrutiny after the shooting, was not a suspect.

But Jungerman accidentally recorded himself saying he killed Pickert within weeks of the shooting, according to a probable cause affidavit supporting the murder charge.

The accidental recording came during a court hearing in Vernon County, according to the documents. It appeared Jungerman never turned off the recorder he had been using.

Speculation had fallen on Jungerman within hours of the shooting in part because of his connection to Pickert. Jungerman, a farmer and maker of baby furniture who lives in Raytown, had recently lost a $5.75 million lawsuit to Pickert, who practiced personal injury law

According to court documents:

Jungerman shot Pickert with a .17-caliber handgun - an obscure weapon used by farmers and ranchers to kill pests.

Investigators also found that Jungerman had transferred money and property to his daughter. Jungerman's assets totaled about $33 million. Jungerman had withdrawn $5 million from his bank account.

During the investigation, police examined more than 1,000 hours of video from surveillance cameras from at least two businesses. In the video, a van matching the description of Jungerman's was visible, but not its license plate.

In the lawsuit, Pickert was representing one of four men Jungerman shot within a month in 2012. All were men he encountered at night in a building associated with this baby furniture business in Kansas City's northeast neighborhood.

Jungerman, who said the men were stealing copper and he acted in self-defense, is appealing the judgment.

In interviews with The Star, Jungerman denied being at the scene of the shooting.

Pickert had just returned home after walking his children to school when he was shot.

Witnesses told investigators that a white van and an older, gray-haired man were at the scene of the shooting, according to court documents. The van and the man matched the general description of Jungerman and his van.

Pickert's widow, Emily Riegel, spoke last month at Kansas City's March for Our Lives protest, delivering an impassioned plea against gun violence.

Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Suspect in slaying accidentally taped himself confessing: police
Suspect in slaying accidentally taped himself confessing: police
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