Richard Darren Emery: Missouri man, 50, convicted of killing GF, her mother and two children over argument

Richard Darren Emery: Missouri man, 50, convicted of killing GF, her mother and two children over argument
Richard Darren Emery was convicted by the St Charles County jury on Friday, September 30, of four counts of first-degree murder (St Charles Police Department)

ST CHARLES, MISSOURI: Richard Darren Emery was convicted by the St Charles County jury on Friday, September 30, of four counts of first-degree murder in the 2018 deaths of his girlfriend, her mother, and two children. Emery had returned from a night of drinking and playing poker when he had an argument with Kate Kasten, 39, whom he shot twice. He then killed her mother, Jane Moeckel, 61, and her two children, Zoe, 8, and Jonathan, 10, in less than a minute at Kasten’s home in the 100 block of Whetstone Drive on Dec. 28, 2018. The jury rejected claims of mental illness.

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St Louis Post-Dispatch states that Emery played poker and drank at the Throw Back’s tavern in St Peters. After returning home, he got into an argument with Kasten who told him to get out of the house. During this heated argument, Emery killed his girlfriend. Her mother, Moeckel, was able to barricade herself into another room with the children but Emery broke into the room and killed all three at close range, as explained by the prosecutors. The jury rejected Emery's mental illness claim as he testified, "I don’t know what’s happening. I’m there, but I’m not there. It’s like looking through somebody else’s eyes." The psychologist brought by the defense claimed that the accused suffered from a borderline personality disorder

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Psychologist Michael L Hendricks said, "This was the dream being kicked out from under him. He had invested heavily in this relationship and was told it was all over. He’d given up so much for naught." Hendricks argued that Kasten's "get out of my house" statement triggered feelings of abandonment and rejection, resurfacing his childhood trauma. The psychologist further said that Emery "felt like he was a puppet and someone else was pulling the strings," on the night of the murder.

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Kate Kasten, 39, and Jonathan D. Kasten, 10. (Facebook/Kate Kasten)
Kate Kasten, 39, and Jonathan D Kasten, 10 (Facebook/Kate Kasten)
Kate Kasten, and Zoe J. Kasten, 8. (Facebook/Kate Kasten)
Kate Kasten, and Zoe J Kasten, 8 (Facebook/Kate Kasten)

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Richard Darren Emery convicted of killing girlfriend and 3 others

After killing Kasten and her entire family, Emery left the house with an AR-15 and more than 900 rounds of ammunition. The police tried to pull him over near Cheshire Drive and Muegge Road. Emery claimed that while he was in the truck, he was ready to take his life. But instead, he got out of the truck and started shooting at the police. He was shot twice in the shooting. While escaping, Emery hijacked a vehicle and the woman testified during the trial saying, "I just froze," as Emery confronted her with a knife. She continues, "He’s making these demands. He’s swinging at me. I’m trying to push him with my legs. I’m braced really solidly in my vehicle, but there was no way I was getting in the passenger seat." During this process, she was stabbed several times -  two to her neck and one to her chest which lead to a punctured lung.

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He was arrested at QuikTrip at 2260 First Capitol Drive after a gas station employee called 911 as Emery used the restroom. His lawyers were pushing the jurors to find Emery guilty of second-degree murder and trying to evade a death sentence. Assistant Prosecutor Phil Groenweghe attacked Hendricks’ diagnosis saying, "You took his word for it. Is that what you’re relying on? His words?" Public defender Stephen Reynolds quipped, "It is murder. It’s just not deliberation. It’s not cool, it’s not reflection, it’s murder second degree." 

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