St. Charles man will face death penalty in family murder trial

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A man accused of killing his girlfriend, her two children, and the children’s grandmother will face the death penalty in the upcoming trial, the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney said Monday.

Prosecutor Timothy Lohmar said a grand jury indicted Richard Darren Emery on 15 counts last Friday for the December 2018 killings. On Monday, Lohmar filed a list of “aggravating factors” for the death penalty.

Emery is accused of shooting and killing 39-year-old Kate Kasten, 8-year-old Zoe and 10-year-old Jonathan Kasten, and 61-year-old Jane Moeckel, Kate’s mother. Emery lived in the home at the time of the killings.

The murders took place on the night of December 29, 2018, at Kasten’s home in the 100 block of Whetstone Drive. Prosecutors said Emery shot the mother first and then the children and their grandmother, who had barricaded themselves in a downstairs room.

Police found the victims inside the home. Three of them were dead at the scene. One of the victims was taken to a hospital where she later died.

Richard Emery

Emery allegedly shot at police as he drove off in his car and struck a squad car, then got out and ran. Police returned fire. Just a few blocks away, Emery then allegedly stabbed a woman several times in an attempted carjacking. She survived.

Police eventually located Emery in the bathroom of a  QuikTrip on First Capitol Drive, bleeding from two gunshot wounds.

Lohmar’s notice of intent to seek the death penalty includes seven aggravating factors, saying three of the murders were committed in the commission of another unlawful homicide, and that all four involved depravity of the mind, and were wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman.

Lohmar said the trial might not start for another year. In the meantime, Emery remains in custody at St. Charles County Jail without bond. His arraignment has been scheduled for next month.

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