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Yust attorneys file for new trial

By Allen Edmonds

HARRISONVILLE – As expected, attorneys for convicted murderer Kylr Yust have filed a lengthy motion asking for acquittal or a new trial after St. Charles County jurors found their client guilty of manslaughter and second degree murder last month in the deaths of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions.

The 56-page document was made “without benefit of a transcript of proceedings and without sufficient time to adequately and effectively enumerate every sustainable ground for a new trial,” the motion said.

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The first court error came before trial even began, according to attorneys Sharon Turlington, Matt Vigil and Molly Hastings, who wrote the appeal.

“The court erred when it failed to grant Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Violation of Sixth Amendment Rights when the Cass County Jail violated Mr. Yust’s rights by recording his legal phone calls, texts, emails and monitored his in-person visits,” the motion said.

The document then listed another 60 alleged errors from the trial itself, regarding testimony either allowed, or not allowed.

In each listed “error,” attorneys allege that decisions made by Circuit Judge William Collins during the two-week trial in one way or another, prevented Yust from receiving a fair trial, to due process and equal protection, all rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Additionally, the motion alleged bias against the defendant by the North Cass Herald, in its role as media coordinator, investigative errors cover-ups by the Belton Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

In addition, motion alleged improprieties in the manner in which potential jurors were seated in St. Charles County for jury selection, alleging that the jury was “not selected through a random process” because although the jurors were assigned random numbers by the St. Charles County Clerk’s Office, “they were seated in order of who showed up first.”

“This is not random seating as is required by the statute. This method adversely impacts jurors who need to take public transportation, who need to get rides to jury duty and those with disabilities.”

The motion cited one juror who was in a motorized chair due to mobility issues. “Due to stairs, parking and other issues this person ended up being seated at the rear of the room where she was never in the pool for consideration.”

That juror, however, was called back for consideration on the final day.


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