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A Kansas City Man is Accused in the Ki!!ing of Ralph Yarl!

A Kansas City Man is Accused in the Killing of Ralph Yarl

A Kansas City Man is Accused in the Killing of Ralph Yarl

According to authorities, an 84-year-old man from Kansas City has turned himself in on suspicion of shooting a Black teenager who accidently rang the doorbell at the wrong house on Tuesday.

“Andrew Lester, charged in the shooting of Ralph Yarl, has surrendered at our Detention Center and is in custody,” the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “He is in the booking process right now.”

According to the Clay County prosecutor, Lester, of Kansas City, was charged on Monday with first-degree assault and armed criminal action, all of which are felonies, in connection with the shooting of Ralph Yarl on Thursday night.

The sheriff’s office reported that Lester was released Tuesday night after posting bond, which had been set at $200,000. According to a probable cause statement submitted by police, Yarl, 16, was shot through a glass door after he rang the doorbell after traveling to the incorrect house to pick up his siblings around 10 p.m.

Police reported that Lester told detectives he had gone to bed when the doorbell rang and that he had a.32-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver with him when he approached the door.

According to the probable cause statement, Lester claimed he observed a Black male who he didn’t know yanking on the outer storm door handle and believed his home was being broken into.

It states that Lester claimed he fired twice through the glass door. According to the witness, the male fled after that, and he called 911 on his house phone. He claimed to have seen a car in his driveway that he thought belonged to the man, but he didn’t see anyone inside.

The following report is similar to the one just presented:

Lester said to the police that no words were spoken. According to police reports, Lester claimed that using his pistol “was the last thing he wanted to do, but he was’scared to de@th'” due to his age and the individual’s stature.

Lester claimed he is solitary. In the probable cause statement, a police detective swore that he grabbed the hard drive after noticing a surveillance system in the house to preserve any potential evidence. However, he later discovered that the device had stopped working since it had stopped recording footage in June.

The probable cause statement states that Yarl provided a different account of what happened when he was questioned at the hospital the following day. He admitted to a detective that he didn’t yank on the door and was standing there after ringing the doorbell when a man with a gun opened it.

Yarl “stated he was immediately shot in the head and fell to the ground,” police wrote. He told police that he has shot again, this time in the arm, and ran, according to the document. Yarl reported to police that he heard a voice say, “Don’t come around here,” police wrote.

Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said the case involved racial issues. Lester is a Caucasian man.

Lester won’t be charged with a hate crime even though Thompson claimed there was a racial component because it would be a lesser degree of felony than what he has been charged with, according to Alexander K. Higginbotham, a prosecutor’s spokesperson, in an email on Tuesday.

“Our office has charged the defendant in his case with an A felony, which is four classes higher than a hate crime enhancement could take a charge,” he stated.

Lester wasn’t also accused of attempted m*rder, according to Higginbotham, because “the charge would be a lower level offense than Assault in the First Degree and carry with it a lower range of punishment.”

However, technically speaking, Thompson said there is not a racial element to the legal charges that were filed, adding that he “understands the racial components and context that surround a case like this.”

According to the family’s lawyer, Yarl has been discharged from the hospital. In the probable cause statement, police claimed they attempted to contact Yarl’s family on Sunday and Monday to perform a formal interview but were unsuccessful.

“I just want justice to be served, so whatever is the right amount of justice for this situation should be granted to him. Nothing more, nothing less, just the right amount, that’s it,” Cleo Nagbe, Yarl’s mother, told NBC News outside the Clay County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

Yarl’s family is being defended by Lee Merritt, who expressed satisfaction with the allegations and stated that they “want to see it through to a conviction and appropriate sentencing.”

However, Merritt questioned several things, including why Lester was released after being questioned for the first two hours and the fact that prosecutors haven’t made it clear if the shots were fired from within the house or outside.

“We’re frustrated with law enforcement failing to take responsibility for denying this family’s due process. No one has owned up to it,” Merritt said. “This 16-year-old unarmed boy didn’t actually pose a threat. But far too often in America, his skin alone is his weapon.”

Yarl, who has a broken skull, brain tissue loss, and scarring, among other lasting impairments, is anticipated to make a nearly full recovery, according to Merritt.

In Kansas City, the shooting provoked demonstrations. Halle Berry, an actor, was one of many who spoke up. This youngster might be yours. This shouldn’t happen, Berry opined on Instagram on Monday.

Attorneys representing Yarl’s family and a White House representative reported that President Joe Biden contacted Yarl and his mother on Monday.

On Tuesday, protesters gathered in Kansas City to advocate for justice and safe neighborhoods for Black people. When Yarl was younger, Keturah Gibson claimed to have watched him. She claimed that the shooting is particularly personal for her because she is a Black woman who delivers for DoorDash and the mother of a 7-year-old girl.

“That could have easily been me that night,” Gibson added. Lester was arrested the night of the incident and later released from detention. Police noted that the prosecutor’s office recommended that he be released pending additional investigation in the probable cause report.

Tuesday, it wasn’t immediately clear if Lester had hired a lawyer. Safia Samee Ali reported from Chicago, Phil Helsel from Los Angeles, and Deon J. Hampton from Kansas City. From New York, Erik Ortiz provided commentary.

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