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Jury finds man guilty of first-degree murder in killing of St. Charles family

The jury deliberated for less than two hours. The trial will move onto the penalty phase Saturday.

ST. LOUIS — A jury found Richard "Darren" Emery guilty of first-degree murder Friday afternoon less than two hours after beginning deliberation about whether he was guilty of first- or second-degree murder.

Emery was accused of killing his girlfriend, her two young children and her mother in 2018. He faced four counts of first-degree murder and 11 other charges for crimes allegedly committed in the hours-long manhunt following the shootings.

Throughout the trial that began on Tuesday, Sept. 20, Emery's defense built its argument on the basis that Emery was in a disassociated state when he murdered the family and should only be convicted of second-degree murder. Prosecutors, however, stood firm that he was aware of what he was doing so it was first-degree murder.

On Thursday, Sept. 29, Emery took the stand and gave his account of the deadly night of Dec. 29, 2018. He 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.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the quadruple murder trial will move onto the penalty phase, which will likely continue through the end of next week.

Prosecutors have said they will be seeking the death penalty for Emery.

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