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New evidence released in Yust murder cases

Kylr Yust makes court appearance
Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-14 14:11:12-05

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — New evidence has been submitted in the double murder case against Kylr Yust.

Yust is accused of killing Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions in two separate incidents a decade apart.

The new evidence was 43 disks worth of material prosecutors submitted to Yust's attorneys on Monday.

According to prosecutors, that material includes finalized Belton Police and FBI reports, as well as tips in the case.

Prosecutors also say there may some duplication with that material.

Yust appeared in court with a full beard in handcuffs and leg irons with heavy security on Monday.

Defense attorneys said it wasn't necessary for Yust to appear, but the judge told them he was already on his way into the courtroom from the Cass County Jail.

Because of the new evidence and a pending evaluation of Yust from Missouri's Department of Mental Health, Yust's defense team questioned if the Nov. 4 trial date is possible.

One of the defense attorneys noted that the team's doctor had already found Yust not competent to stand trial.

The judge replied, "I'm the one who makes that decision at a hearing," and noted he "hadn't heard one piece of evidence" about Yust's mental state.

Yust's attorney also noted there could be an objection filed once Yust's evaluation from the Department of Mental Health is completed.

After the hearing, a defense team member, who wouldn't identify himself, started asking the 41 Action News Investigators about what the Kopetsky and Runions families were saying.

They declined comment after the hearing.

The defense team member also questioned the judge's fairness.

"It's not the judge's job to side with one side or the other," he said.

When the 41 Action News Investigators asked the defense team member if there's going to be a motion to remove the judge from the case, he declined comment.

The judge said at the hearing it's his intention to push forward to the already scheduled Nov. 4 trial date.

Another pre-trial hearing for the case is scheduled for Sept. 30.

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