David Jungerman

David Jungerman

A Missouri judge has ruled that an 85-year-old man convicted in September of gunning down a lawyer in front of his home in 2017 is not mentally competent to participate in his own sentencing.

David Jungerman, 85, was convicted in September of murdering attorney Thomas Pickert in October 2017. Pickert was shot to death in front of his home while his wife, Dr. Emily Riegel, was inside; he had just returned from dropping the couple’s two sons off at school.

According to prosecutors, Pickert had previously obtained a $5.75 million jury verdict against Jungerman, who had apparently beaten a homeless man trying to break into Jungerman’s baby-furniture warehouse. The man reportedly had to have his leg amputated as a result of the assault.

The day before the slaying, Jungerman was served with property liens.

Investigators found an unspent bullet in Jungerman’s white van — which was spotted at the Pickert shooting scene by a witness — that matched the type of bullet that killed Pickert. Police also uncovered a recording of Jungerman talking to an employee about killing Pickert.

At the time of the murder, Jungerman was believed to have been worth millions, according to local NPR affiliate KCUR.

The jury took just two hours to convict Jungerman of murder. Sentencing had originally been set for Nov. 18, but on that day, Jackson County Judge John Torrence ordered a competency evaluation for Jungerman, according to court filings, and had requested a briefing from both the state and defense about the findings.

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