Ralph Yarl – Elderly Man Accused of Shooting Black Teenager Who Mistakenly Rang His Doorbell Headed To Trial
There is enough probable cause to push the white man accused of shooting Ralph Yarl to a trial.
After hearing from 12 witnesses, Clay County Judge Louis Angles determined that Andrew Lester, suspected of shooting Ralph Yarl after the teenager went to the wrong house by accident, will go on trial for a felony.
Andrew Lester arrived in court on Thursday beside his lawyer Steve Salmon, but chose not to take the witness stand.
According to Salmon said,
“The binding over of a defendant from a preliminary hearing is fairly normal. The prosecutor simply needs to provide probable cause to bind the case over.”
“There was certainly no evidence that race had anything to do with this incident. Also, there was an admission that Yarl grabbed the storm door handle of Lester’s door to gain access to the house. That is a critical aspect of this case and has been Mr. Lester’s contention all along.”
Ralph Yarl – who suffered a traumatic brain injury – and his mother, Cleo Nagbe, testified as the teenager spoke to Andrew Lester for the first time since the April 13 shooting.
During his testimony, Ralph Yarl described the events just before he was shot and said that he is still coping with the physical and psychological effects of the shooting.
The teenager said he was initially certain he was at the correct address his mother had given him to pick up his siblings, but he eventually got confused.
Yarl remembered hearing the main internal wooden door open and reaching for the locked glass storm door when he was shot twice, the first time in his head and the second time when he was on the ground.
He claimed that he never spoke to Andrew Lester, but after the incident, the elderly man warned him to never return to the location.
On April 17, Clay County prosecuting attorney Zachary Thompson announced that Lester, 84, had been charged with one count of first-degree felony assault and one count of armed criminal activity. He entered a not guilty plea and was freed on a $200,000 bond.
During the closing statements, the prosecutor argued that it was unreasonable for Lester to shoot an “unarmed kid” twice.
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