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Kylr Yust’s lawyers object to state's finding he is 'competent to proceed'

Defense will conduct new mental evaluation
Posted: 5:27 PM, Oct 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-17 18:27:07-04
Kylr Yust mugshot.jpg

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The state’s court-ordered forensic evaluation of accused double murderer Kylr Yust found him competent to stand trial, but the defense has again objected and will seek a second opinion.

Drs. Jason Lawrence and Steven Mandraccia filed a copy of a mental evaluation of Yust with the Cass County Circuit Court on Oct. 10.

Yust's lawyers argued in August that he wasn't competent to stand trial due to "mental disease or defect."

Yust was found to have "mood-related symptoms, including anxiety, depression and suicidal gestures” and a “history of depressive and anxiety symptoms,” according to court documents.

The report further stated that Yust’s symptoms worsened after he stopped taking prescribed medications, according to the defendant’s objections to doctors’ findings.

Doctors recommended Yust resume taking his medication under a doctor’s supervision, but his lawyers have objected “to the finding that Kylr Yust is now competent to proceed,” according to a response filed Thursday with the court.

Yust, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions, had 10 days to object to the state’s findings.

Now, he’ll receive “an additional examination relative to Mr. Yust's fitness to proceed to be conducted by a doctor of Defendant's choosing,” according to a new Order for Psychiatric Examination.

Yust’s attorneys must have the evaluation completed and a report filed with the court before Dec. 16, 2019, which is 60 days from the judge’s order.

The trial, which originally was scheduled to begin next month, has been postponed amid court filings related to Yust's mental fitness and discovery issues.