After Kylr Yust and a former girlfriend tried to talk to the spirit of Kara Kopetsky by using a Ouija board, he said he had “f------ killed her,” according to a wiretapped conversation jurors heard Thursday.
That conversation — recorded by Yust’s ex-girlfriend, Katelynn Farris, at the request of the FBI — came on the fourth day of Yust’s trial in Cass County. He faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kopetsky, 17, and Jessica Runions, 21.
“This really turns you on that I killed a girl, huh?” Yust asked Farris at another point in the hours-long audio.
Farris said it did not. Yust then asked Farris why she previously talked about it and wondered if she was trying to get him to confess.
The recording was captured in 2011 when Farris returned to Kansas City from North Carolina, where she had since moved. The FBI asked her to assist in the investigation, and agents gave her devices to record her conversations with Yust that day.
The audio also captured Yust and Farris trying to use a Ouija board to communicate with Kopetsky’s spirit. At one point, Yust appeared to claim he had heard Kopetsky’s voice. He promised to “come back and see” her.
On Wednesday, jurors were shown footage from a camera set up in a car Farris drove around town with Yust in the passenger’s seat. They also heard from another one of Yust’s former girlfriends, who testified that he previously choked her during a violent attack and said he had killed girlfriends in the past “out of sheer jealousy.”
Between 2010 and 2012, police spoke to at least four people who said Yust confessed to killing Kopetsky, according to charging documents. One of Yust’s former roommates, Seth Duncan, testified Thursday that Yust told him he “choked” out Kopetsky.
Another one of Yust’s former friends, Aaron Capanetto, testified Thursday about a night in 2013 on which Yust came back to Capanetto’s house, where he had been staying. He was upset and intoxicated, a bottle of whiskey in hand, according to the testimony. A girlfriend had just left him. Then, Yust “admitted to me that he had killed Kara,” though he did not provide specific details, Capanetto testified.
As Yust sobbed, Capanetto feared for his own safety, he testified. He said he had heard rumors about people who knew Yust disappearing. He tried to calm Yust down.
At one point, Yust floated the idea that he would produce a music project that would end with Yust dying by suicide on stage and him leaving behind information about his victims, said Capanetto, who is a music producer.
When questioned by Yust’s lawyer on cross examination, Capanetto acknowledged he did not go to the police about that night until 2016. He did so then, he said, because that’s when Runions — another girl who knew Yust — went missing. He testified the information was “eating” him up, and that he “could not live” with himself if he did not come forward.
Prosecutors later asked Capanetto if he felt bad for not speaking up sooner.
“It’s one of the worst things that has ever happened to me,” he responded, becoming emotional.
Kopetsky was reported missing in 2007; Runions was last seen alive in 2016. Their disappearances remained mysteries in the Kansas City area until a mushroom hunter found their remains April 3, 2017, in a wooded area south of Belton.
Since Yust was charged, his defense team has raised questions about the the integrity of the investigation. His attorney, Sharon Turlington, said Yust is innocent. No physical evidence connected him to the murders, she said.
The trial continued into Thursday afternoon and is expected to last three weeks.