Cass County judge denies motion to dismiss murder charges in Kylr Yust case

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CASS COUNTY, Mo. — The double murder trial for Kylr Yust is scheduled to start in one month.

A Cass County judge decided Friday not to dismiss murder charges against the man accused of killing Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions.

Yust’s attorneys argued that police honed in on him unfairly and didn’t do enough to investigate other suspects, but Judge William Collins denied their motion to dismiss the case.

On Thursday, Yust’s defense also asked for a change of judge, but that motion was also denied.

Collins did grant a motion from the prosecutor Thursday to drop two counts of abandoning a corpse. Prosecutor Ben Butler would have had to prove that Yust abandoned, disposed, deserted or left two bodies without notifying law enforcement.

Investigators found the remains of both Kopetsky and Runions in a rural Cass County field in 2017. Kopetsky disappeared in 2007, while Runions was reported missing in 2016. Yust had ties to both women.

The trial was expected to begin in fall 2019, but several updates, motions, challenges and some new evidence has pushed the trial back.

Jurors from suburban St. Louis will be selected at the end of March with Yust’s trial scheduled to start on April 5. Collins still has not decided if the trial will happen in Cass County or across the state in St. Charles County.

The defense attorneys had previously asked for the trial to be moved in September 2018 due to the publicity of the case. That motion was denied then. However, events in recent years have increased scrutiny.

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