Andrew Lester, 84, has pleaded not responsible to the capturing of Ralph Yarl, 16
An 84-year-old man accused of shooting dead 16-year-old Ralph Yarl has pleaded not guilty. As previously reported by The Shade Room, the incident happened on April 13 in Kansas City after Yarl accidentally arrived at the man’s home to pick up his siblings.
RELATED: UPDATE: 84-year-old man charged after shooting 16-year-old Ralph Yarl who accidentally arrived at his home
More details on Andrew Lester’s indictment
According to KCTV, Andrew Lester appeared for an in-person hearing at the Clay County Courthouse on Wednesday.
The homeowner was charged with two felonies related to the shooting. One charge is “first degree assault” and another is “armed criminal activity”.
Lester pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Zachary Thompson, a Clay County prosecutor, has since shared a statement with the outlet.
“From this point forward, the state will urge this case to move forward as expeditiously as permitted by law.” Although charges have been filed, this remains an active investigation. We continue to work with law enforcement to gather all available evidence in this case. If anyone in the community has information that would assist in this case, we encourage you to contact the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department or other law enforcement agency. As this is now an active and pending case, our office is severely limited as to the information we can publicly disclose. This is due to our desire to protect the legal integrity of the case and ensure justice is done for the victim and our community. Despite these limitations, we will be as transparent as the law allows and will endeavor to keep the public informed of all developments.”
The case will continue on June 1, the outlet reports.
Lester will remain on bail and “is not permitted to possess any weapons or have any contact with Yarl,” reports KCUR.
The attorney representing Ralph Yarl and his family also shared a statement
Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing Yarl’s family, also shared a statement with reporters after the indictment, according to KCUR.
Merritt explained that he and Yarl’s co-counsel, Ben Crump, have “longstanding relationships” with the US Department of Justice.
“We thought the DOJ should look into this. They are (look inside). It is being investigated, they received our complaint and are now investigating.”
Merritt also stated that he would like to see Lester “spend the rest of his life in prison.
“I want him to spend the rest of his life in prison. All of his assets become Ralph’s property.”
In addition, Merritt also expressed that he hopes this case will set a precedent in the country.
“I’m not worried about[Lester being exonerated]under the law. I have cultural concerns. In American law, it is difficult to convict a white man for harming a black child. It was not meant to be, and I hope this case turns the tide.”
Ralph Yarl’s classmates have also shown tremendous support
As The Shade Room previously reported, Yarl’s classmates from Staley High School recently got together for a unit walk to support the 16-year-old.
Over 1,500 students took part in the walk, wearing the color blue, which is Yarl’s favorite color. They also sang “We love you, Ralph” and “Justice for Ralph” while marching.
Staley High School students gathered Tuesday for a unity walk for Ralph Yarl, singing the phrase “We love you, Ralph” in support of their classmate.
— KSHB 41 News (@KSHB41) April 18, 2023
As The Shade Room previously reported, the incident happened on April 13 after Ralph Yarl’s parents allegedly asked him to pick up his siblings from an address on the 115th Terrance. However, the 16-year-old went by mistake to a house on 115th Street, where Lester reportedly punched him in the head and arm.
Yarl left the hospital on Monday and is now continuing his recovery at home.