In an article updated yesterday (June 6) by The Courier-Tribune, the newspaper revealed that the family of Ralph Yarl isn’t pleased with a recent court ruling in regard to the young boy’s attacker. As previously reported by REVOLT, on April 13, the Black 16-year-old went to pick up his two little brothers from a sleepover but was shot in the head by a white Kansas City, Missouri homeowner after accidentally going to the wrong address.
Thankfully, Yarl survived the incident, and his case has received national attention. Last week, Judge Louis Angles set a two-day preliminary hearing for Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 for Andrew D. Lester, the elderly white man accused of shooting the high school junior twice. The appearance only lasted a few minutes, and the homeowner was accompanied by his lawyer Steve Salmon. Outside the courtroom, community members rallied in support of the teen, wearing shirts that read, “Ringing a Doorbell Is Not a Crime” and “Justice for Ralph.”
“He still gets headaches, and pains and some emotional scars, but he’s coming along. He’s not there yet, but we are thankful for the progress,” Ralph’s father, Paul Yarl, said after the Clay County Circuit Court ruling. He added that his son is looking forward to the day when he can return to normal activities, such as starting his senior year: “He’s been doing some schoolwork. His teachers have been keeping him engaged with his schoolwork, so, yeah, he looks forward to getting back to school.”
Paul wants prosecuting attorney Zach Thompson to “do better” at keeping Ralph’s family informed about the ongoing case. The teen’s father also disagrees with the court’s decision to allow Lester’s documents to be sealed. “I like transparency… Why seal the case if you’re innocent?” the father asked. On the day of the shooting, Ralph was supposed to get his brothers from the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Terrace but mistakenly went to the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Street.
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