The man accused of killing a pair of women and hiding their bodies was arraigned and given his next court date Monday while standing before a Cass County judge.
That arrangement lasted all of about five minutes.
Kylr Yust was arraigned before a judge in front of a courtroom packed with loved ones of both Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions. Yust is charged with first-degree murder in both cases. He has pleaded not guilty in each case.
Yust did not look at the dozens of people who turned out in support of the families of Runions and Kopetsky.
He'll be back in court in July where attorneys will argue for what he'll wear - something some may think sounds trivial but something local defense attorney Paul Morrison says matters.
“If you saw someone in a suit and tie versus jail stripes, it’s probably going to affect your impression of him," Morrison said.
They'll also discuss TV cameras and whether they're allowed at the next hearing. It's not always something both sides agree on.
There are attorneys who feel it could create a circus-like atmosphere, but Morrison, who’s tried multiple high profile cases in the metro over the years, says he hasn’t seen that happen. He says it often actually cuts down on the number of people in the courtroom because people will stay home and watch it all unfold on TV.
“The bottom line is what you’re doing is all public anyway. It’s in a public place where anyone can come and watch. The cameras are just an extension of that," Morrison said.
In the end, it is the seemingly little things that make the wait a little longer for the two families who are patiently waiting for justice.
Yust will be back in court on July 16.
Kopetsky was killed in 2007. Runions was killed in 2017.
Kopetsky was 17 years old when she disappeared, last seen walking out of Belton High School in 2007. She had recently filed a restraining order against Yust.
Nearly a decade later, a 21-year-old Runions was last seen leaving a friend’s party. Her car was later found torched on a rural road.
Though their deaths were separated by nearly 10 years, DNA and dental records confirmed the remains found in April, near each other in a heavily wooded portion of Cass County, were those of Kopetsky and Runions.
The family of Kopetsky and Runions say, as they get closer to the trial, all they want is justice for their loved ones' murders.
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