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Kylr Yust sentenced to 45 years in prison for Kopetsky, Runions deaths

kylr yust on sentencing day.jpg
Posted at 1:13 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 20:41:52-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kylr Yust was sentenced on Monday to 45 years in prison after the judge accepted the jury’s recommended maximum sentence in his murder trial.

Yust was convicted in April in the deaths of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions.

He was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in Kopetsky’s death, and second-degree murder in Runions’ death.

The jury recommended maximum sentences for each crime following their verdict, which was 15 years for voluntary manslaughter and life imprisonment for second-degree murder.

In Missouri, a life sentence is capped at 30 years, with eligibility for parole after 85% of the sentence has been served.

Kopetsky and Runions’ bodies were found near each other in a wooded Cass County area nearly a decade after Kopetsky went missing in 2007, and just eight months after Runions’ 2016 disappearance.

Yust had been romantically involved with both victims, and multiple witnesses described his jealous, erratic and sometimes abusive behavior in the relationships.

His trial was delayed as his defense team filed several pre-trial motions and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Ultimately, the jury found him guilty in both deaths, despite Yust’s testimony in which he appeared to place blame on his deceased half-brother.

Cass County Judge William Collins also decided Yust’s sentences will run consecutively, one after another.

In May, Yust’s defense team filed a motion for a new trial, alleging several infractions in the prosecutors’ and court’s conduct.

Monday, Collins denied that motion.

41 Action News is committed to bringing you complete coverage of the trial of Kylr Yust, the man accused in the murders of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions. Visit kshb.com/yusttrial for all our stories, case details, timeline and more.