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Authorities search for motive in multiple murder case in St. Charles

By: Brian Flinchpaugh


Richard D. Emery

Richard D. Emery

Local law enforcement and prosecutors say they simply don’t know why Richard D. Emery allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend, her two children and her mother on Dec. 28 before firing at two St. Charles police officers and then stabbing a woman while attempting to carjack her vehicle.

The crime spree began in what St. Charles Police describe as a quiet neighborhood at a home in the 100 block of Whetstone Drive. On Jan. 3, an investigation into the actions of Emery, 43, continued with the St. Charles County prosecuting attorney’s office taking the lead.

“As I’m sure you can imagine, I don’t think with the level of damage he’s done, I don’t think there is any stone they won’t overturn,” said Leslie Knight, a spokesperson for St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar. “I think, even more appropriately, we are at the beginning of the investigation. I don’t think we are anywhere near the middle.”

The crime was unlike anything most authorities have ever seen in St. Charles County. Murders, yes; but not at this scale. “I’ve been here five years and I can’t think of any case where we have four victims, three assaults and an attempted carjacking,” Knight said.

Lt. Tom Wilkison, public information officer for the St. Charles Police Department, said, “I’ve been here 16 years and I’ve talked to guys that have been here 30 years and they’ve seen nothing like this.”

Emery, of St. Charles, is a suspect with no criminal record who allegedly committed the crimes in an area that has little crime. Wilkison said the crime remains unsettling in a quiet area where he has family members.

Authorities have said they don’t expect to announce results of what they find out from a Major Case Squad investigation completed before Jan. 1. Information released will come out of the prosecuting attorney’s office, but Knight said, “We’ll probably be pretty tight-lipped on this one.”

Emery faces counts on 15 crimes according to charges filed by the prosecuting attorney’s office on Dec. 29 – four counts of murder in the first degree, seven counts of armed criminal action, one count of attempted robbery in the first degree, and three counts of assault in the first degree.

It all began with a 911 call at about 11:55 p.m. to the St. Charles City Police dispatch for “shots fired” in the 100 block of Whetstone Drive.

According to the probable cause statement filed with the prosecuting attorney’s office, the dispatcher could hear “apparent gunshots in the background and advised responding officers.”

At 11:58 p.m., officers arrived on the scene and observed Emery getting into a white Chevy Silverado and trying to leave the subdivision. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, which first failed to yield but eventually stopped at the intersection of Cheshire and Muegge roads.

Police said Emery exited the truck, displayed a handgun and fired multiple shots at two police officers. The shots struck the police vehicle eight times in the open driver’s door, door frame and grill. Officers returned fire until Emery ran out of sight. None of the officers were injured.

Meanwhile, officers at the residence found four victims of gunshot wounds.

On the phone line, with gunshots audible, was Jane Moeckel, 61, who had barricaded herself in a downstairs room with her two grandchildren, Zoe, 8, and Jonathan, 10. The three were found dead. Kate Kasten, 39, the mother of the children, was found wounded in a north bedroom and was transported to a hospital where she died.

At about 1:32 p.m. police received a call for a stabbing. The victim described a suspect similar to Emery who told her, “I gotta get out of here,” and attempted to take her vehicle. He then stabbed her multiple times in her torso and fled on foot, which prompted an extensive seven-hour manhunt. The victim was taken to a hospital where she was reported to be in critical but stable condition.

At 7:23 a.m., police responded to a 911 call from a Quick Trip in the 2000 block of First Capital Drive regarding a white male bleeding heavily from a possible gunshot wound who had entered a bathroom there. Emery appeared to be suffering from gunshot wounds when he was taken into custody.

According to the probable cause statement, Emery asked if the lady he tried to carjack was OK. He asked officers at a hospital trauma room if they were the officers at whom he had shot. The detectives said they were not. He then apologized for shooting at them. Emery’s handgun and knife were located by investigators based on his statements to officers.

Police said Emery lived at the home on Whetstone Drive and was Kasten’s boyfriend. The children from her marriage to Kory Kasten, who died in April 2017 after a six-year battle with cancer.

A service for Kasten, her mother and children is scheduled from 3-8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6 at Collier’s Funeral Home, 3400 N. Lindbergh Boulevard. A GoFundMe page has been established to help pay for the funerals.

Meanwhile, Emery was held without bail at the St. Charles County Jail. A case review on his case is scheduled for Jan. 8 before Circuit Judge Terry Cundiff.

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