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Family of Kansas City attorney shot dead in front yard sues alleged killer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of a Kansas City attorney who was shot to death in his front yard is suing the man charged with killing him. The parents and widow of Tom Pickert claim in the wrongful death lawsuit that David Jungerman, 80, killed Pickert to protect his assets after Pickert won a nearly $6 million judgment against him. 

CBS affiliate KCTV reports that Pickert had helped a man secure a $5.75 million personal injury judgment against Jungerman. Jungerman had shot a homeless man at a warehouse he owned and a jury sided with the shooting victim. 

The lawsuit, filed last week, accuses Jungerman of battery, negligence and fraud, The Kansas City Star reported.

Pickert was shot in October 2017 as he talked on the phone in his front yard after walking his two children to school.

David Jungerman Jackson County Jail via KCTV

Jungerman has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge. His attorney, Dan Ross, didn't immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Jungerman shot Pickert about a month after he tried to collect on the personal injury judgment. Pickert sent an email to Jungerman's attorney asking if his firm could start collection on the judgment. Ten days before the shooting, a garnishment was filed against Jungerman and one day before the shooting, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office served him with property liens to satisfy the judgment against him, according to the lawsuit.

The family also alleges that Jungerman transferred about $10 million of his money to try and delay collecting on the judgment or to defraud creditors. Jungerman's assets totaled about $33 million earlier this year, much of which came from his vintage baby furniture company, Baby Tenda.

The personal injury case was filed in 2012, after Jungerman shot a homeless man he encountered at his Baby Tenda warehouse. 

According to the lawsuit, Jungerman approached Pickert after the judgment was announced and said: "None of this matters. I have 186 guns. I did it once before. I will do it again. You can't touch me."

Pickert's family is seeking more than $25,000 for battery and the same amount for negligence, as well as compensation for damages suffered because of Pickert's death.