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Kylr Yust attorneys file motion for new trial

kylr yust trial day 3
Posted at 10:43 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 23:43:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Attorneys for Kylr Yust, who was convicted in April of murder and manslaughter in the deaths of Jessica Runions and Kara Kopetsky, have filed a motion for a new trial.

The 56-page motion was filed Monday in Cass County court, requesting either an acquittal or a new trial and detailed 61 instances in support of the request.

Among the alleged infractions were:

  • The court allowing recordings from Yust’s phone calls, texts, emails and in-person visits at Cass County Jail to be presented at trial, which his attorneys argued violated his Sixth Amendment rights;
  • Allowing prosecutors to question Yust about hearsay statements made by Jessep Carter, Yust’s half-brother who was found dead in the Jackson County Detention Center in 2018.
  • Excluding testimony from several witnesses;
  • Denying a change in venue and judge ahead of the trial;
  • The jury was not selected randomly;
  • Allowing testimony regarding previous “episodes of domestic violence” by Yust against Kopestky.

The motion also states that after the trial had concluded, the Missouri State Highway Patrol provided defense counsel “additional police reports which had never previously been disclosed.”

Jurors had recommended Yust serve 15 years for Kopetsky’s death and life imprisonment for Runions’ murder. As of April, Yust’s sentencing hearing had been set for June 7.

Yust initially was charged in 2017 with two counts each of first-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse in connection to the two deaths. Abandonment of corpse charges were dropped in a March pre-trial hearing.

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.