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Jury recommends maximum sentences for Yust in deaths of Kopetsky, Runions

Posted at 1:37 PM, Apr 16, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A jury has recommended the maximum sentences for Kylr Yust in the deaths of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions.

Thursday, the jury in his double murder trial found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter in Kopetsky’s case and second-degree murder in Runions’ case.

The jury heard victim impact statements from the young women’s families today, as well as testimony about Yust’s character from old friends and neighbors Friday morning.

After deliberating for about two hours, the jury came to the conclusion Yust should serve 15 years for Kopetsky’s death and life imprisonment for Runions’ murder.

Judge William Collins will decide if the sentences will run concurrently or consecutively at a later time.

Voluntary manslaughter can carry a sentence of five to 15 years in prison.

Second-degree murder can carry a sentence of 15 years up to life in prison, but in Missouri that life sentence is capped at 30 years.

Because the jury did not opt for the first-degree murder verdict, Yust will be eligible for parole after he serves 85% of the sentence.

A formal sentencing hearing has been set for June 7.

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