ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — A judge decided on Thursday a St. Charles man will be sentenced to death for murdering four people in 2018.
Last month, Richard Emery was found guilty of first-degree murder and 11 other charges for killing his girlfriend, her two children, and her mother.
A jury found Emery guilty of first-degree murder last month after less than two hours of deliberation. That same jury recommended the death penalty for Emery.
Back in December of 2018, officers found two children, 8-year-old Zoe Kasten and 10-year-old Jonathan Kasten dead. Their grandmother 61-year-old Jane Moeckel was also found dead inside the home.
The children's mother, Kate Kasten, was shot several times inside the house on Whetstone Drive.
Following the shootings, Emery stabbed a woman during a carjacking and exchanged gunfire with St. Charles police.
During the trial, Emery and his defense team argued he didn't know why he shot the family but was sorry for doing it. Prosecutors contended he was aware.
On Thursday, Judge Michael Fagras denied a motion for a retrial.
Emery's defense attorneys asked the court to show mercy and said Emery is remorseful.
They said he would serve his time with four life sentences in jail without the possibility of parole.
However, prosecutors said this is a death penalty case.
Judge Fagras said this was a difficult decision and did not take it lightly.
He said he had sleepless nights over this decision. He said it was the witness testimonies that really stood out to him.
Judge Fagras pointed out the testimonies from Emery's son and father.
During the trial, the prosecutors played the 911 call that deadly night.
In that call, you can hear gunshots go off, as Zoe Kasten asked Emery why he was doing this.
"Those images I’ll never forget, but what haunts me and always will haunt me, is the 8-year-old girl’s voice saying 'Why? Why? Why?' and that’s the question I always had and the one I ended up with," Judge Fagras said.
Before giving his sentencing, Judge Fagras said to Emery, "I wish you would’ve asked for forgiveness. You’re asking for mercy now. Forgiveness is giving you something you don’t deserve. Mercy is someone not giving you something you do deserve."
Following the decision, St. Charles Police Chief Ray Juengst spoke to news reporters outside.
"We’re happy with the jury’s verdict and the judge following through with that verdict," he said. "We think that’s the appropriate thing and we’re hoping this gives a sense of closure for the victim's family and the officers who had to deal with this traumatic incident."
St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said this is the end of the chapter, but it's not the end of the story.
"Years and years of appeals will take place," he said.
Emery's defense attorneys motioned to appeal the decision.