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News media fight for a camera in courtroom as trial begins for man accused of killing 2 women


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    CASS COUNTY, Missouri (KCTV, KSMO) — The Missouri man accused of killing two women nine years apart will finally face a jury Monday at the Cass County Justice Center.

But it’s what’s happening behind the scenes that will determine whether people in the Kansas City area will be able to see the proceedings in the case that locals have held dear in the 14 years since teenager Kara Kopetsky went missing.

Kylr Yust’s murder trial begins almost four years to the day since mushroom hunters found the remains of both Kopetsky and Jessica Runions, a young woman who was killed and dumped nine years after Kopetsky.

Before the trial begins Monday afternoon, though, the judge will hold a hearing at 9 a.m. to determine what kind of access Kansas City news media will have in the courtroom. KCTV5 News spoke with a local media attorney representing all of the television stations and the Kansas City Star about why there should be a camera in the courtroom.

“Whether Kylr Yust is guilty or innocent, I don’t know. But I know the trial will provide valuable information that will help satisfy the yearning this community has to know what went on,” said Bernie Rhodes, media attorney. “The only way to do that is for the public to see themselves what happens in the courtroom.”

KCTV5 has been working for months to get a camera in the courtroom. The final step in that process is today’s hearing.

In May of 2007, Kopetsky left Belton high School and was never seen alive again. Runions went to a party in 2016 and didn’t come home. Yust is on trial for the murder of both young women, but he was first taken into custody for the burning of Runions’ car.

Months later, mushroom hunters found both of their bodies in the same place.

Local news stations and newspapers have covered this case extensively. That’s one reason the court is bringing in a jury from the other side of the state, from just outside of St. Louis.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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