Summer trial date set for man charged in 2 women’s deaths

December 20, 2019 GMT

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A man charged in the deaths of two women who disappeared nearly a decade apart is scheduled to go on trial next summer.

During a hearing Thursday, a Cass County judge scheduled jury selection in Kylr Yust’s trial to begin July 22. Jurors will be brought from St. Charles County outside St. Louis.

Opening statements and testimony will begin the following week.

Yust is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abandoning a corpse in the deaths of 21-year-old Jessica Runions, of Raymore, and 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky, of Belton. Their remains were found in 2017 in a wooded area in rural Cass County.

Runions was seen leaving a gathering with Yust before she disappeared in September 2016. Kopetsky had filed a protection order against Yust in April 2007, a month before she went missing after walking out of Belton High School.

The next hearing is set for Jan. 21 to discuss additional DNA testing that Yust’s attorneys have requested. His defense wants the women’s skeletal remains, as well as hair recovered from a vehicle, to be made available for retesting.

Prosecutors expressed concerns about the laboratory the defense wants to use.