A jury on Friday morning recommended life imprisonment to Kylr Just, who was convicted the day before for the murder of two young women who disappeared about 10 years apart in Cass County.
Just, 32, Convicted of intentional manslaughter The second murder (21 years old) due to the death of Kara Kopetsky (17 years old) and the death of Jessica Lunions.
The jury recommended life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for manslaughter. He is eligible for parole. The sentence is scheduled for June 7th at 2:30 pm.
In court on Friday Kopetsky and Lunions family He testified about who the young women were and how their disappearance and death affected those who care for them.
Kopetsky was reported missing in May 2007, and Lunions were last seen alive in September 2016.
“It tore the whole family and changed our lives forever,” said Kopetsky’s mother, Ronda Beckford, on the day her daughter went missing. “It started a 10-year nightmare.”
Mr. Kopetsky was planning to go to school to become a radiologist and enter the medical field, Mr. Beckford said.She was carefree, affectionate and loyal to her friends
“I don’t think justice was offered as far as Kara is concerned,” Beckford told the jury.
Kopetsky’s stepfather Jim Beckford told the jury that Ronda Beckford paid for Kopetsky’s phone for 14 years after she disappeared, hoping someone would call.
“If you look at the phone records today, you’ll see that I called to hear her a little bit on Sunday night,” he said.
Jamie Lunions said her mother was Jessica Lunions a loving sister. People were drawn to her. She loved dancing and music.
“It was the longest four years and seven months in my life,” said Jamie Lunions. During that period, another daughter survived the suicide attempt.
John Lunions told the jury that the murder of his daughter had destroyed him and others. He told the jury about the future in which women will miss. Birthdays, family gatherings, hugs and kisses.
“I can’t take my daughter to the aisle and see her get married and become a mother,” he said. “Her sister can no longer respect her, and she loved her sister.”
Justo in Kansas City was associated with Kopetsky and Lunions, but their incident remained a long-standing mystery in the metropolitan area until mushroom hunting found the body in the woodlands south of Berton in April 2017. did.
The jury was offered the option to offer a lower fee, but Yust was charged in 2017 with two counts of one murder in a woman’s death.
The trial began on April 5 and ended Wednesday night after more than a week of witness testimony.
The jury was elected in St. Charles County two weeks ago and taken to Kas County for publicity surrounding the case.
In the opening statement last week, Kas County Prosecutor Ben Butler Kopetsky said he was trying to end his relationship with Just, who admitted to his friend that he had “strangled (cursed) from her and threw him into the middle of the (cursed) forest.”
According to prosecutors, Justo was killed again nine years later when Lunions tried to end his relationship with him. Butler said Just had abandoned their bodies “in his place.”
During the course of the trial, prosecutors tried to portray him as a violent and relentless murderer who killed a young woman because she could not see Justo in a romantic relationship with someone else. Meanwhile, Justo’s defense team questioned the investigation and its conclusions, saying there was no physical evidence linking Justo to the murder.
Attorney Sharon Turlington told the jury that police had conducted a “suspect-led investigation.” She said officers were unable to collect evidence, including Justo’s phone records, including location data, and lost other evidence.
“For some reason, Kill should have stopped murdering the two without leaving a trace,” Turlington said.
At the stand on Wednesday, Justo denied killing Kopetsky and Lunions and instead accused his late half-brothers. He also denied confessing to several witnesses called to testify earlier in the week.
“I don’t know exactly what happened to Kara,” he testified, adding that he “did nothing to either.”
For prosecution witnesses Kopetsky and Lunions’ mother 2 as well Just’s ex-girlfriend..Last week, the jury 2011 recording Between Justo and his ex-girlfriend Caitlin Farris, Justo said he had killed Kopetsky.
Justo testified Wednesday that Faris made her appear to be attracted to him because of alleged murder. When he commented, he said he was playing with what he believed was her sexual fantasy. He claimed to be acting.
Between 2010 and 2012, police spoke to at least four people who said they had confessed that Justt had killed Kopetsky, according to the indictment. In closing arguments, assistant prosecutor Julie Toll said he had confessed to six people over the years.