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Jury selection begins in Kylr Yust murder trial

yust trial jury selection
Posted at 7:11 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 20:11:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jury selection in the double murder trial of Kylr Yust started Monday.

Yust is accused of killing 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky and 21-year-old Jessica Runions nearly a decade apart.

He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Jury selection is taking place in St. Charles County, as high publicity about the case in the Kansas City area raised concerns about finding impartial jurors locally.

Monday, 53 potential jurors were seated and questioned.

More than half of them said a three-week commitment to the trial would cause serious hardship for reasons ranging from occupations, child care and other responsibilities, according to a pool report.

Just two of the jurors had heard of the case before.

When Yust’s defense team asked jurors if he “looks like a murderer,” none of them raised their hands.

His defense team also asked jurors if would consider the full range of punishment if Yust was found guilty of second-degree murder rather than first-degree.

That charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years, maximum of 30 years to life.

Yust’s lawyers also asked jurors not to Google the case.

41 Action News has produced a six-part podcast series with details about the case as Yust heads to trial next week.

Listen in the player below or via your preferred podcast platform.

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.