Andrew Lester, the Kansas City man who was charged in the shooting of Ralph Yarl, a teenager- pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning. The case will now head to trial, with the trial expected to begin on October 7, 2024. Lester’s attorney, Steven Salmon, confirmed that his client would plead not guilty.
The incident occurred on April 13, when Yarl mistakenly arrived at Lester’s home to pick up his twin siblings. Lester, an 84-year-old homeowner, shot Yarl in the head and right arm.
He was charged with felony assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. During the hearing on August 31, Clay County Judge Louis Angles ruled that Lester would stand trial based on sufficient probable cause that a felony had been committed. Testimony from 12 witnesses, including Yarl and his mother Cleo Nagbe, was presented during the hearing.
Yarl, who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the shooting, testified about the physical and mental impact it had on him. He recounted the moments leading up to the shooting, stating that he rang the doorbell and waited for a response. When the door opened, he reached for the locked glass storm door and was shot twice. Yarl mentioned that he never said anything to Lester, but after the shooting, Lester told him, “don’t come here ever again.”
In a probable cause statement, Lester claimed that he believed someone was attempting to break into his house and shot his gun in fear. Yarl, who is Black, emphasized in an interview with “Good Morning America” that he was shot through a glass door.
The approaching trial will determine the outcome of this case, which has gained public attention due to the occurrences surrounding the shooting.