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BLOG: Photos of Kylr Yust's injuries examined in court

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kylr yust trial burn barrels pic
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Posted at 8:32 AM, Apr 09, 2021

3:50 p.m. | Court is in recess for the day. It will resume Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. with more testimony about evidence in the case.

3:44 p.m. | Owens searched the home of Yust's grandfather, where he was living at the time. She found a note from Runions in a red book in Yust's room.

jessica runions note to kylr yust
A photo of a note from Jessica Runions to Kylr Yust is shown in court during the fifth day of his murder trial on April 9, 2021. Yust is accused in her murder.

3:38 p.m. | The defense has no questions for Jones. The state calls KCPD crime scene investigator Pam Owens.

3:35 p.m.| Jones said the hair he examined showed signs of being burned or having been exposed to heat.

3:31 p.m. | The state calls KCPD crime lab supervisor Patrick Jones to the stand.

He examined the hair samples Fields collected from Yust.

3:21 p.m. | Court is back in session. The state recalled Sgt. Terence Carter back to the witness stand.

He's asked if Yust's injuries could have been caused by an incendiary fire. Carter said in his experience, yes.

Carter did say he could not determine if Yust's injuries were from a burn barrel or a car on fire.

2:40 p.m. | Melanie Fields is now testifying.

She was a crime scene unit supervisor for KCPD and worked the Runions/Kopetsky case in 2016 and 2017.

Fields collected singed facial hair from Yust in addition to organizing the detailed search for the girls' remains after they were found by a mushroom hunter in a wooded area.

Fields said the remains were scattered throughout a large area and investigators had to conduct a gridded line search.

2:12 p.m. | Forest reviewed pictures he took of Yust on Sept. 11, 2016. At the time, he noticed discolorations on Yust's face.

2:05 p.m. | The 11th witness of the day was Matthew Forest, a crime scene technician for KCPD.

Forest processed Taylor and Carter's white Durango and processed a red gas can inside of the SUV.

1:57 p.m. | The 10th witness of the day was former Benton County deputy, Dustin Love.

Love arrested Yust in 2016 at a trailer in Edwards, Missouri. He noticed injuries on Yust's face and asked him about them.

Yust told Love he ran into a tree and was "smug and arrogant about it."

1:42 p.m. | Carter said when a fire is lit, there's a big flash of fire first, then it continues to burn or can even knock itself out.

The state asks him if someone is standing in close proximity to a vehicle and uses whatever igniting source and is doused in gasoline, what type of injuries can they experience?

Carter said it depends how close the person was standing and if the car's doors and windows were open.

After being interrupted by the defense, Carter eventually said someone standing near the car could experience burnt skin and eyelashes.

1:37 p.m. | Carter went through photos of Runions' severely burned SUV. It was charred and white-gray and totally burned out.

He believes gas was poured inside of the SUV, but couldn't figure out what lit the fire.

1:27 p.m. |The ninth witness was Terence Carter, who is a retired KCPD Master Detective and a bomb and arson expert.

He examined Runions' burned vehicle on Sept 10, 2016.

1:22 p.m. | In cross examination by the defense, Lambirth is asked if anyone would be nervous if a gun is pulled on them.

Lambirth agreed, but said Carter stopped in the middle of the road, so deputies weren't sure what they were going to deal with.

1:13 p.m. | The next witness called to the stand was Deputy Mitchell Lambirth who worked for the Henry County Sheriff's Office in 2016.

Lambirth was called to assist after Yust, Taylor and Carter were stopped in 2016 because of a broken tag light.

Lambirth said Yust looked extremely nervous and his knees were shaking uncontrollably. He also described Yust as pale in the face. To Lambirth, these were "major red flags."

The three were later allowed to leave.

1:05 p.m. | After lunch, testimony resumed with Lori Nelson, a crime scene technician for the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

Nelson processed the scene at Paul Andrulewicz's house at 59th & Manchester. This was in connection to a missing persons case.

Nelson searched some burn barrels and took pictures. She found black fabric, a buckle and a black cell phone Otter case laying outside the burn barrels.

11:55 p.m. | After testimony from Paul Andrulewicz, Jessep Carter's uncle, court recesses for lunch.

Andrulewicz has no blood relation to Yust.

He testified about burn barrels and gas cans on his property, which burned to the ground later, allegedly set ablaze by Carter.

11:30 a.m. | The tow truck driver who took Runions' car from the scene to KCPD's impound lot testifies.

He said the car was still so hot, he had to drag it, and it even reignited a couple times as he drove.

The next day, he sees missing persons information for Runions on Facebook and recognized the the license plate number.

He reported that to KCPD's South Patrol, where one or both of her parents soon showed up.

11:23 a.m. | Galen Smith takes the stand. He is the one who found Runions' car on fire. He described it as "ablaze."

Smith said he was on his way home from work when he saw the car on Sept. 10, 2016, around 2:30 a.m.

He said when he drove by the next day, the scene was roped off and he talked to an officer, who took down his information.

11:21 a.m. | The defense in cross examination confirms that Kennedy did not find blood belonging to Runions on Yust's clothing.

11:08 a.m. | Kennedy was also tasked with testing bone remains in the case, though she said the marrow was deteriorated beyond usefulness.

Kennedy tested some of Yust's clothing and found blood stains, all of which belonged to him.

10:51 a.m. | Kennedy examined a striped button up, hooded shirt and found "areas of interest" in brownish and black stains. Blood was not indicated in those areas.

She said she developed DNA profiles for Runions and Yust.

Using those she found Runions' and Yust's DNA on the shirt in addition to a potential third profile.

Kennedy notes she is unable to pinpoint how or when the DNA may have been left on the shirt.

10:47 a.m. | Court has resumed with testimony from a detective about some evidence.

Next on the stand is KCPD crime lab analyst Jarrah Kennedy, who tested DNA in the Runions case.

10: 10 a.m. | After testimony from Taylor finishes, court takes a short recess.

Taylor described the rest of the day's events she observed while with Carter and Yust. Note her account happened the same day KCPD found Runions' burned out car.

The defense questions Taylor about why, after being together for 16 years, the pair decided to get married in 2017. The line of questioning implies an argument that Taylor married Carter so she wouldn't be able to testify against him.

Taylor told them it was because she'd learned she was pregnant with their fourth child.

9:15 a.m. | Testimony continues with Taylor.

8:30 a.m. | For the first witness of the day, prosecutors have called Crystal Taylor to the stand.

Taylor was married to Kylr Yust's half-brother Jessep Carter, who died by suicide in prison.

41 Action News reporter Sarah Plake is monitoring today's testimony from Cass County:

EARLIER | Friday marks the fifth day of the Kylr Yust murder trial and will continue with witnesses called by the state.

On Thursday, the state finished playing a wire recording and calling witnesses in the Kara Kopetsky case. They also called their first witnesses in the Jessica Runions case, including Runions' mother.

Jamie Runions shared some previously unknown details about the disappearance of her daughter, as did witnesses in attendance of the party where Jessica was last seen with Yust.

Before that, the final evidence and testimony presented by the state in Kara's case had Yust on a wire recording saying he killed her, and several witnesses said he told them that same thing and that they even feared for their own lives.

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 for all our stories, case details, timeline and more.