Kylr Yust trial to start next spring, judge says, despite ongoing evidence issues

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — A Cass County judge announced that Kylr Yust will be tried on two murder charges in sometime in the spring of 2021.

Yust is accused of killing Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions nine years apart. Investigators found the remains of both Kopetsky and Runions in a rural Cass County field in 2017.

However, lawyers have faced serious challenges producing all the evidence against Yust, despite the fact that more than 17,000 pages of reports have been turned over to attorneys so far.

Lawyers say they just learned that detectives had a GPS tracking device on Yust’s car, but there are no records of it. No one seems to know how long Yust was tracked or where he went during that time.

The court also is concerned about missing items from the Belton police property room. Detectives are currently trying to find that unspecified evidence.

Additionally, there’s a report of someone identifying another man as the suspect in the killings.
Lawyers say that man was never questioned. He is currently in federal prison, where he’s expected to exercise his fifth amendment right to not answer questions about the murders.

On top of it all, there have been claims of an inappropriate sexual relationship between a Kansas City police officer and a witness. However, prosecutors have had difficulties examining the phone records. The prosecutor said there may be as many as 15 different phone numbers tied to that officer in the last 10 years, but the phone company, T-Mobile, may only have saved two years worth of records.

Despite all of these issues, Judge William Collins said he will pick a jury from St. Charles County and try Yust for murder in March or April of 2021.

The trial was originally set to start in the fall of 2019, but a series of challenges and new evidence has caused delays.

Yust will be back in court on Oct. 5.

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