Man accused of shooting teen charged, no hate crime
16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot on April 13th when he accidentally rang the wrong doorbell. He was out to pick up his siblings.
Officials say Yarl was shot through a glass door, before ever exchanging words with the homeowner. Yarl was then seriously wounded.
84-year-old Andrew Lester was immediately taken into custody but released a day later. He was formally charged on April 17th with two felony charges: assault in the first degree and armed criminal action.
Prosecutors say that Lester shot Yarl in the head and again in the arm after he fell. There is no evidence that Yarl ever entered the home. After being shot, Yarl managed to make it to another homeowner’s yard where that family called the police. Officials confirmed what we already believed – race played a role.
A reminder to many of us that skin color is often perceived as a threat.
According to CNN, when prosecutors were asked about a hate crime charge, the prosecutor said that in Missouri, a hate crime is a lower level of felony, and adding such charges could constitute double jeopardy. A probable cause document released Monday evening similarly doesn’t shine any light on why authorities believe race played a role in this case.
Lester is facing spending the rest of his life in prison for the class-A felony of assault in the first degree. The other charge carries a max of 15 years.
A young, talented black boy’s life has been forever changed because he found himself in front of a house on Northeast 115 Street, instead of Northeast 115th Terrace.
Doctors are saying it is nothing short of a miracle that Ralph walked out of the hospital today.