The widow of an assassinated lawyer choked back tears as she spoke about her husband’s murder as his accused killer was charged in the case.
“It has been 168 days since Tom was taken from us," Emily Riegel told reporters this week. "While we are so pleased and grateful that this day has finally come, we know that is does not bring back Tom and it does not give us back the last 24 weeks without him or what our future with him ought to have been."
Riegel is the widow of Brookside attorney, Tom Pickert, who was gunned down last October as walked his dog outside his Kansas City, Mo., home.
Prosecutors say David Jungerman, an 80-year-old baby furniture manufacturer, is the man who pulled the trigger after audio was discovered of an apparent confession.
"People know that I murdered that son of a b****," Jungerman is heard saying in the recording.
Jungerman, who's worth $33 million, allegedly shot and killed Pickert in an act of revenge after Pickert sued him on behalf of a client.
Pickert's client won a reported $5.75 civil judgment as a result, and court documents say Jungerman later told Pickert: "None of this matters. I have 186 guns. I did it once before. I will do it again. You can’t touch me."
Spotted near the murder scene was a van that looked like Jungerman’s, and before his arrest, Jungerman told the Kansas City Star that he knew he was under suspicion.
"People have me guilty because they indicate that I — it was my van that was there," Jungerman said. "So people that I've known for years turn their back when I walk by."
Court documents also claim that the manufacturer once answered his phone saying, "Murder Inc. — this is David."
"I hope we can now begin to see the kind of justice Tom believed in, that he worked for and that he would have put everything into for someone that he loved," Riegel said outside court Wednesday. "For that reason, we are especially grateful for the work done by all of those who got us to this point today."
She thanked those involved in the investigation and thanked supporters.
"We are grieving and we are still desperately trying to find our way forward, she said. “Thank you for continuing to keep our family in your thoughts and in your prayers."
Riegel also mentioned other families who have been affected by gun violence.
"Please also keep every family affected by gun violence in your hearts and minds," she said. "There are far too many of us and we all need your love and we all need justice."
Jungerman has entered a plea of not guilty.