Andrew Lester, the elderly white man charged with two felonies in the near-fatal shooting of Ralph Yarl, has been released from jail this afternoon (April 18). According to KMBC, court records show that Lester bonded himself out by paying 10 percent of the $200,000 total.
Lester was first taken into custody the night of the incident last week but was released two hours later as he had yet to be charged. The Clay County Prosecutor’s Office announced yesterday (April 17) that it was seeking the arrest of the Kansas City, Missouri homeowner. Prosecutor Zachary Thompson acknowledged in his press conference that there was a “racial component” to the case.
It all began last Thursday (April 13) when Yarl’s mother asked the 16-year-old to pick up his younger brothers from a friend’s house. When he mistakenly rang the doorbell at Lester’s house, he was confronted by the 84-year-old at the door and shot in the head. As Yarl lay still on the ground, Lester fired another shot into his arm. See his mugshot below.
BREAKING: This is a mugshot just released by @kcpolice of Andrew Lester, 84. He is the suspect in the #RalphYarl case.@kmbc pic.twitter.com/7hJSvEi8h0
— Matt Flener KMBC (@MattFlenerKMBC) April 17, 2023
Yarl was released from the hospital over the weekend and is recovering at home. His family is beyond grateful to have him in their arms, but they’re also furious at the fact that his innocence was taken from him in such a senseless way.
“We are very, very grateful that he is still here with us. We still see him. I can still hug him. His siblings can still hug him. So yes, we are grateful,” Yarl’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, told ABC News in the clip below. “We are upset. We are angry, but we also understand that it could have been a lot worse.”
While Yarl is alive and recovering physically, he’s also in a process of recovering mentally. Spoonmore told NBC News that he can’t understand what happened to him. “We’ll remind him like, ‘Ralph, you’re alive, buddy.’ And then he has the times where he’s like, ‘Why? I did nothing wrong. Why? I did nothing wrong.’ And he just cannot understand why,” she shared.
His mom, Cleo Nagbe, told Gayle King this morning about how he’s dealing with it all. “Mostly he just sits there and stares and the buckets of tears just rolls down his eyes,” she lamented in the heartbreaking interview seen below. “You can see that he is just replaying the situation over and over again. And that just doesn’t stop my tears either because when you see your kid just sit there and… tears are just rolling from both sides of his eyes, there’s nothing you can say to him.”
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