Trial set for Andrew Lester, man charged in shooting of Ralph Yarl

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 9:02 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 12:08 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Andrew Lester, charged with felony assault and armed criminal action in the shooting of Ralph Yarl, will appear before jury trial in 2024.

At a court hearing Wednesday morning, a Clay County judge set the trial to begin on Oct. 7, 2024. A docket call has been scheduled for Dec. 15, 2023.

The 84-year-old Lester has been charged with shooting the then-16-year-old Yarl nearly five months ago. Yarl claimed he accidentally approached the wrong address, which was Lester’s home when picking up his siblings. Yarl was then shot twice — once in the head and once in the right arm.

Yarl suffered traumatic brain injuries from the shootings and was released from the hospital four days later, which was the same day Lester was taken into custody.

Lester could face life in prison if convicted.

Lester’s attorney Steven Salmon argued in a legal filing that the court record should be sealed, noting that Lester has been harassed and threatened since the shooting became public. Salmon also noted that the publicity could make it difficult to find an impartial jury and that potential witnesses may be reluctant to testify.

Protests and rallies ensued days after reaching all the way to national coverage of it. Yarl’s mother and Lee Merritt, who represents Ralph Yarl and his family, appeared on CBS This Morning with Gayle King days later to share their side of the story.

Lester was released on a $200,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to both charges on April 19.

ALSO READ: Judge rules Andrew Lester will stand trial for shooting Ralph Yarl