During a Jackson County court hearing to set his trial date, David Jungerman, charged in the 2017 homicide of Brookside lawyer Tom Pickert, complained he was wasting too much of his life in jail.
"That's 25 percent of my life if I wait a year," the 80-year-old defendant said when Judge David Byrn suggested a date of April 2019.
Jungerman said that the majority of people live to 84 or 85, so he only has about four years left. Jungerman and the attorneys were standing close to Byrn's bench to accommodate Jungerman's hearing impairment.
When Byrn suggested an earlier date, Feb. 25, 2019, defense attorney Daniel Ross explained to his client that preparation for the trial would take a long time. February, he said, is the earliest he could be prepared.
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"We're going to be hard-pressed to be ready for this trial," Ross said.
Jungerman remained unsatisfied.
"I'm living in terrible conditions in this jail," he said. "They treat us like animals."
Despite his Jungerman's protest, his trial date is set for late February. If the defense is able to prepare quickly, Ross said he might ask for an earlier court date.
Jungerman, a multimillionaire farmer and baby furniture maker, faces charges of first-degree murder after allegedly shooting Pickert on the front porch of the attorney's home on Oct. 25. In the Pickert murder investigation, police said they found a recording of Jungerman talking about the killing.