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Kylr Yust takes stand in double murder trial

yust on witness stand trial day
Posted at 8:24 PM, Apr 14, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kylr Yust, accused of murdering Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions, took the stand in his own defense Wednesday in a Cass County courtroom.

After more than two days of presenting witnesses, attorneys representing Yust told the judge they had no further witnesses to call, except the possibility of Yust.

Cass County Judge William Collins took court to recess for lunch, leaving the courtroom in suspense.

When court resumed, the defense announced that Yust would take the stand.

Dressed in a full suit, with a white button-down dress shirt and tie, Yust raised his right hand, took the oath before the judge, and took a seat on the witness stand.

For more than two and a half hours, Yust answered questions, first from his own attorneys and then peppered with questions by the prosecution during cross examination.

On the witness stand, Yust admitted to lying to police on multiple occasions over the last 14 years about being with Kopetsky on the day of her disappearance, May 4, 2007.

He said he lied because he didn't want to get in trouble because Kara had a protection order against him at the time.

Yust also claimed his half-brother Jessep Carter was driving the pickup truck when he picked up Koptesky at Belton High School.

Yust testified he went back to his home with Kopetsky and Carter and then tried to get some marijuana from a friend.

He then claimed he left Kopetsky and Carter to go to that friend's house and then on to Kansas City to see his great aunt at a rehab facility.

Under cross-examination, prosecutor Julie Tolle questioned Yust with sarcasm.

"You must be the most unlucky guy in the world, being the last person seen with two girlfriends who then disappeared," she said.

Yust replied, "I'm unlucky because I have a brother who was a serial killer."

Yust was referring to Carter, who died by suicide in jail after being charged with the arson of his uncle's home, and isn't alive to speak for himself.

Yust, however, wasn't asked and didn't offer a motive for Carter killing both Kopetsky and Runions.

Tolle also confronted Yust about confessing to multiple people about killing the young women, including telling his mother in a jail phone conversation.

Yust claimed he told his mother he killed Runions because it was her and his father's fault to make her feel badly.

He also claimed he fed another former girlfriend's fantasy about wanting a killer to have his hands on her.

As for other confessions, he said "I might as well be famous because my life was a nightmare."

When directly asked by his attorney Sharon Turlington if he killed the women, Yust said no.

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.