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BLOG: Defense in Yust trial paints picture of other suspects

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Posted at 8:46 AM, Apr 12, 2021

2 p.m. | Court is over for the day.

1:58 p.m. | The paralegal is now on the stand, this time in front of the jury.

1:56 p.m. | Pyles recorded drive times between various locations, but not between Yust's house and the location of the remains.

1:51 p.m. | The defense asks Pyles to label a map.

1:50 p.m. | The next witness to go before the jury is Kim Pyles who worked for Yust's public defender at one point.

1:48 p.m. | It appears Judge Collins will allow the paralegal to testify in front of the jury.

1:41 p.m. | The judge seems to agree with the state about allowing the affidavit.

1:33 p.m. | Judge Collins says they've already been through all of that.

1:30 p.m. | The judge does not want to admit the paralegal's testimony.

1:25 p.m. | The state is asking questions about a subpoena.

1:23 p.m. | With the jury still absent, the judge is hearing from a paralegal about a records request.

1:14 p.m. | Judge Collins would like to hear closing statements Thursday.

1:10 p.m. | The defense is arguing why the testimony is relevant, but the state says it's hearsay.

1:08 p.m. | Lundt painted Jessep Carter as hostile and said he made threats.

1:07 p.m. | Robert Lundt was trying to get background on Yust and his family. His testimony is being heard without the jury first.

1:04 p.m. | Court is back in session. A former public defender who represented Kylr Yust is on the witness stand.

11:15 a.m. | Court is in recess until 12:30 p.m. for a lunch break.

11:05 a.m. | Cindy Smith, a woman who knew Carter and Yust testified.

She said she used to party and do drugs at a cousin's house in Lone Jack. Her cousin's name is Anthony.

She recalled a time after she got out of jail when she was at Anthony's house. She was high but needed to go to her mom's house in Warrensburg, and Anthony agreed to take her.

Smith said while they were driving, she remembered thinking it was taking longer than it should and seeing fields. She noted she was pretty high at the time and the memory is hazy.

Smith said they stopped at cornfields and when she woke up, they were at Anthony's again. She said she believed she'd been assaulted.

Anthony took a different car to Warrensburg, Smith said. She said Yust wasn't along in the car rides, but had been there before.

The state objected to Smith's testimony on the grounds of its relevancy and accuracy.

The defense argues they are trying to lay groundwork for the situation between Anthony and Carter.

10:30 a.m. | Court is in recess while Yust's defense team checks on the status of two witnesses who were supposed to show up today.

10:25 a.m. | The defense next calls Billy Bayes to the stand.

Bayes’ name surfaced as a possible suspect in Kopetsky’s disappearance.

In the defense team’s earlier motion to dismiss the case, they claimed Bayes made ‘multiple statements’ regarding his knowledge of Kopetsky’s death.

One of those statements was made to Joseph Stauch, whom Bayes denied even knowing and who is set to testify in court Tuesday.

Monday, Bayes said under oath he never made those statements.

10:15 a.m. | The state and defense are arguing the relevancy of the corrections officers' testimony.

The state objects, saying the defense wants to bring up the contents of a coded note left in Carter's cell, to which they have multiple objections.

The defense argues they have a right to rebutt the state's evidence, which included testimony from Carter's wife, Crystal Taylor.

The prosecution says they only brought Taylor in because the defense indicated in their opening statements their plan to suggest Carter as an alternative suspect in the girls' murders.

Ultimately, the judge agrees the corrections officers' tetimony shouldn't be included in the trial.

10:09 a.m. | The defense asks about items in Carter's cell.

10:08 a.m. | The next jail employee, Jonathan Valdry, investigated Carter's death.

10:07 a.m. | Carter would have spent 23 hours a day in his cell.

10:05 a.m. | The state asks about the inmates' ability to contact each other.

10:04 a.m. | Carter was housed in a mental health-focused wing of the jail.

10:03 a.m. | Carter was in a single-person cell and guards attempted to revive him.

10:02 a.m. | Akanionah Akah was the one who found Carter deceased.

10 a.m. | One of the jail guards speaking was on duty the night Jessep Carter hanged himself.

9:59 a.m. | The jury has left the courtroom while the judge hears from the jail guards.

9:57 a.m. | The state is questioning how the defense took the deposition.

9:39 a.m. | The jury will now hear Alfred Yust's deposition.

9:36 a.m. | The state asks Hefling if she was distracted while witnessing the events.

9:35 a.m. | Hefling recalls hearing a scream when the car drove in the direction of Kara.

9:32 a.m. | Hefling recalls what Kara was wearing and seeing a car in the area.

9:31 a.m. | Hefling said she saw Kara the morning she disappeared and she looked distraught.

9:30 a.m. | Hefling realized Kara was one of the kids she saw walking to and from school after seeing her reported as missing.

9:29 a.m. | The second witness is Debra Hefling who lived down the street from Belton High School.

9:25 a.m. | Bishop discusses a possible phone call from Kara the evening of the day she disappeared. No contact from Kara had been established past the morning.

9:19 a.m. | The defense's first witness is Brett Bishop who went to high school with and knew Kara Kopetsky.

9:18 a.m. | The jury is being seated.

9:14 a.m. | The jury does not appear to have heard these discussions.

9:12 a.m. | Despite state objections, the Alfred Yust deposition will remain included.

9:11 a.m. | The deposition ends with Alfred talking about police looking for things at his house.

9:10 a.m. | Alfred said he would have told police if he thought Kylr did something.

9:06 a.m. | The deposition moves to the Jessica Runions disappearance.

9:05 a.m. | Alfred talks about any motive Kylr might have had.

9:04 a.m. | Alfred restates facts about Kylr's alibi.

9:03 a.m. | Alfred recounts what he was doing when Kylr stopped by one day.

9:02 a.m. | The jury is hearing Alfred's words.

9 a.m. | Yust's grandfather was deposed in July 2019. The deposition is being read.

8:56 a.m. | Judge Collins wants to hear from the guards. He also wants to hear a deposition from Yust's deceased grandfather Alfred Yust.

8:54 a.m. | The defense could call jail guards to the stand to testify about what was found in Jessep Carter's cell. His widow testified for the prosecution last week.

8:51 a.m. | The defense is debating bringing up something to do with Jessep Carter, Yust's deceased half-brother.

8:50 a.m. | Judge Collins advises Yust about his right to testify.

8:30 a.m. | Monday marks the beginning of the second week of the Kylr Yust murder trial, and also the first day the defense will start to make their case.

The prosecution rested on Saturday after a lengthy day of presenting evidence and having expert witnesses discuss various aspects of the investigation.

They wrapped up their case by showing photos of human remains and having experts detail how the bodies of Jessica Runions and Kara Kopetsky were identified after being located in woods in an area Yust was allegedly familiar with.

The defense is expected to question the investigation process of Yust's alibi and the credibility of some witnesses.

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.