Suspect in shooting of Ralph Yarl to stand trial, judge rules

The man who shot teenager Ralph Yarl will stand trial, a Missouri judge ordered Thursday.

Andrew Lester, the 84-year-old white man who shot Yarl, a Black teenager, previously pleaded not guilty to felony charges. Lester shot Yarl, who was 16 years old at the time, in April after Yarl mistakenly went to the wrong house when picking up his younger brothers.

Lester later turned himself in to authorities, posted bail and was released on the condition that he turn over any weapons and concealed carry permits, among other requirements. Yarl was hospitalized due to the injuries to his head and arm he received from the shooting.

Yarl has since spoken out about the incident and said he is just living his life the best he can. He has dealt with headaches, trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating after the shooting, he told “Good Morning America” in an interview in June.

Some have noted the racial dynamics of the case, including Clay County, Mo., Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Lee Merritt, the Yarl family’s attorney.

“This defendant, in the probable cause statement, is indicated to have said that he was afraid of Ralph because he is a tall, Black man,” Lucas told “CNN This Morning” in the wake of the shooting.

“I think that this has everything to do with race — the defendant’s fear of Black people, Black men, Black boys … I think if the young man wasn’t Black, we wouldn’t be here today,” he added.

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