Kylr Yust was convicted Thursday of manslaughter and murder in the deaths of two Missouri women who disappeared 10 years apart.
Yust was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky, and of second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Jessica Runions.
Yust, 32, was charged in 2017 with two counts of first-degree murder in their deaths -- the jury was provided the option of delivering lesser charges, the Kansas City Star reports. The trial began on April 5, 2021.
Yust’s ex-girlfriend Kara Kopetsky went missing in May 2007.
Jessica Runions, 21, went missing in September 2016. Kylr Yust was reportedly the last person seen with her. Two days later, her burned-out SUV was found abandoned on the side of a road.
Yust was arrested on Sept. 11, 2016, charged with “knowingly burning” Runions’s SUV.
Kara Kopetsky was last seen in surveillance video leaving her school just hours before she vanished in 2007. Days earlier, Kopetsky had filed a protection order against her abusive on-again/off-again boyfriend, Yust. He had previously abducted Kopetsky from her workplace and had threatened to slit her throat.
On September 8, 2016, Jessica Runions was seen at a party with her boyfriend and his longtime acquaintance, Kylr Yust.
In April 2017, human remains found in Cass County, Mo., were identified as Runions. A second set of remains found in the same wooded area the same week were identified as Kopetsky.
Jurors began deliberations Friday morning in Yust’s sentencing, the Star reports.
UPDATE: The jury recommended a sentence of life in prison on the murder conviction and a sentence of 15 years for the manslaughter charge, the Kansas City Star reports. Yust will be eligible for parole. Sentencing is scheduled for June 7.