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Judge Allows Wiretap Recording of Kylr Yust Ahead of Jury Selection

Andres Gutierrez 

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — The judge presiding over the Kylr Yust trial ruled Thursday that testimony and a wiretap from an ex-girlfriend of Yust can be heard during the trial. Attorneys representing Yust had filed a motion to keep the testimony and wiretap out of the trial, alleging it was coerced.

According to prosecutors in 2008, Yust allegedly confessed to his-then girlfriend Katelyn Farris to killing Kara Kopetsky who went missing the previous year. In 2010, Farris told Belton Police detective Brad Swanson of Yust’s statements.Then the following year, Farris informed Swanson that she was once again talking with Yust. That February, Farris wore a wire provided by the FBI to record conversations between Yust and herself.

But his defense team argued that because law enforcement compensated Farris for her time and travel and that the possibility of sex was on the table during the conversation, Yust was coerced into a confession. His attorneys wanted Cass County Judge William Collins to suppress the wiretap associated with Farris.

Legal experts outside the case told 41 Action News said the judge’s ruling likely came down to two considerations. “At the end of the day, Judge Collins is going to make a decision about a) whether this young lady was acting on behalf of the state so whether or not it was a government action, or b) whether he voluntarily and knowingly gave that statement and that’s where the allegation that he was induced to get that statement improperly with a promise of sex,” John Picerno, a criminal defense attorney, said.

Also on Thursday, attorneys agreed to interview potential jurors in groups of 60 to 80 people at a time.Questionnaires are already out to prospective jurors, with jury selection slated to start March 29 in St. Charles County, outside of St. Louis.Jurors will be brought to Cass County and sequestered throughout the trial, which is expected to last three weeks.

Opening statements are set to begin April 5.

41 Action News is committed to bringing you complete coverage of the trial of Kylr Yust, the man accused in the murders of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions. Visit kshb.com/yusttrial for all our stories, case details, timeline and more. Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may no