Missouri Man Convicted of Killing Jessica Runions and Kara Kopetsky, Woman and Teen Slain 9 Years Apart
Kylr Yust was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Kara Kopetsky in 2007 and second-degree murder for killing Jessica Runions in 2016.
A Missouri man has been convicted in the killings of two women found dead nearly 10 years apart. Kylr Yust was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Kara Kopetsky in 2007 and second-degree murder for killing Jessica Runions in 2016.
Prosecutors claimed Kopetsky ended her nine-month relationship with Yust in 2007 because he was abusive.
“Yust said, 'If I can't have her nobody can," Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Butler said during the trial, according to reports. "Yust murdered Jessica with deliberation same as he did Kara before: Because no one else can have Jessica, either.”
Kopetsky and Yust dated when they were teens and days before she went missing in 2007, Kopetsky, 17, had filed a restraining order against Yust after she said he was violent, People reported. She went missing on May 4, 2007 during a free period at her school in Belton.
Runions, who was 21, was last seen leaving a friend’s party with Yust on Sept. 8, 2016.
Kopetsky’s remains were found in 2017. They were discovered about nine miles from her school and about 20 to 30 yards from Runions’ remains, according to reports. Prosecutors had been hoping to convict Yust on first-degree murder in both cases.
Yust defended himself in court and said his half-brother, Jessep Carter, who died by suicide in jail in 2018, was the true murderer, according to KCUR.
"To be technical, I don't really feel that justice was served as far as Kara's concerned," Kopetsky's mother, Rhonda Beckford, said in court, according to KMBC.
Yust is expected to be sentenced as soon as Friday. Second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison or life in prison without the possibility of parole, while the maximum penalty for voluntary manslaughter is 15 years.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, chat online on www.thehotline.org, or text "loveis" to 22522.
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