Kylr Yust trial: Crime scene techs evaluate Yust’s injuries after Runions’ car found burned

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Friday was a day full of forensic evidence in Kylr Yust’s double murder trial.

Much of it had to do with what happened after police found Jessica Runions’ badly burned SUV as the prosecution’s case shifted to the second alleged murder victim.

Much of the testimony had to do with the injuries to Yust’s face and hands, and how he actually may have got them.

On Sept. 12, 2016, Kylr Yust was arrested in Warsaw, Missouri. When those who know him saw his mugshot, it was clear to them something was wrong.

“This is a closeup picture of the defendant’s face,” a crime scene tech explained.

Yust appeared to have burns on his face and hands, cuts and scratches, along with singed hair.

“What were you attempting to capture?” lead prosecutor Julie Tolle asked.

“When I photographed the right side of his face, I was trying to capture the possible singed hair and the injuries that are on is face,” retired KCPD crime scene supervisor Melanie Fields explained.

Experts testified that his hair was in fact burned.

“I determined that the hairs exhibited characteristics of hairs that had been burned and singed,” KCPD crime lab tech Patrick Jones said.

The defense claims the burns Yust sustained were from a burn barrel and not Jessica Runions’ car. However, a fire investigation expert said that’s not consistent, and Yust’s injuries are more likely from a gasoline fire.

Terrance Carter, a retired KCPD master detective, said not only were Yust’s injuries consistent with a gasoline fire, so was the evidence they collected from Runions’ car.

“That would be consistent with an incendiary flash from an incendiary fire, if not worse than that. In my experience, I would expect far more serious injuries to include eyes, more hair loss,” Carter said.

He said if Yust had in fact been burned by a barrel fire, he would have injuries to his eyes and extreme burns to much more of his body.

“The way it was described, I would think it would be worse. When we talked about it earlier, we talked about gasoline, in addition to aerosol cans, no damage to the burn barrel, direct up, face over, yes I would expect more,” Carter said.

The state is expected to call around 10 witnesses on Saturday.

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