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'Like a video game': Man accused of quadruple homicide takes the stand

Richard "Darren" Emery was questioned for hours by his defense team and prosecutors about the murder of his girlfriend and her family.

ST. LOUIS — Richard “Darren” Emery admitted he murdered his girlfriend, her mother, and her two children but claims he did not mean to and is unclear about what happened in the moments leading up to the killings.

On Thursday, Emery went through hours of intense questioning from his defense attorney and then the prosecution’s tough cross-examination. The questioning focused on the murders, the stabbing of a bystander and a police shootout on the night of December 28, 2018

Emery was filled with emotion from the moment he walked into the courtroom until the court adjourned shortly after 5 p.m.

"I'm the one that apparently is sick," he said through tears. "I don't know. They didn't deserve me. I most definitely didn't deserve them. They were the best thing that ever happened to me and as usual, I screwed it up."

Emery's defense has built its argument on the basis he was in a disassociated state when he murdered the family, while prosecutors stand firm that Emery was aware of what he was doing.

Thursday, prosecutors pressed the man on his whereabouts and feelings right before and as he killed Kate Kasten and her family.

When questioned about what happened at the house that night, Emery told jurors his girlfriend was “hostile” and picked a fight with him over not praising her son who had put together a leggo set Emery had bought him for Christmas.

Emery had spent hours drinking and playing poker at a local bar and had just returned home.

He told jurors that the two began arguing, she slapped him and told him to get out of the house, and that is what ultimately triggered him to punch Kasten in the face and the shooting spree thereafter.

While Emery said there had been no issues in his relationship with Kasten prior, prosecutors brought up the fact that the couple had exchanged text messages earlier that day while he was at work.

Emery testified that Kasten asked him to take a shower and wake her up when she made it home indicating “she wanted to have sex.”

He added the two had not done anything sexually in a while. He had also been “frustrated” because of her moods during her menstrual cycle.

Emery didn't deny murdering the family but said it felt like he "was there but not there" and compared it to a game of Call of Duty but did not know who was controlling the game.

He contended he was unaware of how he got the gun from his locked safe in the couple's nightstand, where his victims were when he shot them, and could hardly recollect trying to get away from police.

"I don't want to remember anything. I don't want to know what I did to my family. You're going to make me sound like I planned this out. Like I had an itinerary. I have so many regrets that night. The first four is obvious and the fifth is me not killing myself,” Emery said.

Both the defense and the prosecution inquired about Emery’s family and relationship history prior to the murders.

He told jurors that since he had met Kasten’s family shortly after they started dating in 2017, had a good relationship with her kids, and felt like he “finally belonged.”

He admitted there was a sense of “envy” sometimes when it came to Kasten’s former husband and the kids’ father.

“He was like everything. He’s tall. I’m not. Accomplished.”

Emery claimed he had missed the family dynamic when he was younger, in an ultimately single-parent home with his mother and was sexually assaulted by a male friend at 13 years old.

He noted several bi-sexual encounters throughout his life and two marriages prior to his relationship with Kasten.

The defense also asked about past encounters with a mutual friend and a co-worker where Emery took out his gun because he “felt threatened.”

His ex-wife testified he did not use guns when he was with her but Emery said he and Kasten shared an interest in guns, hence the case they had in the house.

Emery faces fifteen charges, including four counts of first-degree murder. If convicted of first-degree murder, Emery could face the death penalty

The trial, which started on Sept. 20, is expected to resume Friday and into Saturday.

You can watch part of Emery's testimony in the videos below:


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