Kylr Yust lawyers ask for change of judge ahead of double murder trial

Kylr Yust mug new background
Posted at 10:44 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 14:33:34-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Defense attorneys for Kylr Yust filed a motion in Cass County last week asking for a change of judge ahead of his upcoming double murder trial.

The defense filed the motion on Friday, saying they received an anonymous letter that alleged Judge William Collins has ties to one of the victim's families.

During a status hearing on Tuesday, Collins denied the allegations but said to be "completely fair," he will ask the Missouri Supreme Court to appoint a senior judge to hear the motion.

Collins also said that he had "no idea" why someone would make those allegations and said he wanted it "on the record" that he never attended any rallies or events related to the murders of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions.

The two victims' remains were found in 2017 in rural Cass County. Kopetsky, 17, and Runions, 21, went missing nearly a decade apart, but evidence linked Yust, 32, to both of their disappearances.

He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abandoning a corpse in connection with their deaths. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

His trial, which was delayed several times due to case developments and the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to begin on April 5 in Cass County, though jurors will come from St. Charles County because of the publicity surrounding the case.

The next hearing is set for March 4.

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