A Kansas City judge has moved to seal court documents in the case of Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who was shot after mistakenly going to the wrong home to pick up his siblings.
On Tuesday (May 30), Clay County Judge Louis Angles granted a request made by the lawyer of Andrew Lester, the 84-year-old Kansas City homeowner charged in the shooting of Yarl, to seal court documents from the public, per Revolt.
The attorney previously claimed that publicity on the case has led to threats against Lester, who has allegedly moved three times in the aftermath of the shooting.
“The overwhelming majority of the reporting continues to assert that the alleged actions of [Lester] were racially motivated. Which, if believed, virtually eliminates the defense available to [Lester] related to the reasonableness of his actions,” Angles wrote as he granted the request.
Yarl mistakenly went to the wrong address to pick up his siblings in April when he was shot twice by Lester. Lester is facing charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action in Yarl’s shooting.
The homeowner told police that he shot Yarl because he thought the teen was trying to break into his home and he was “scared to death.” According to family members, Lester has a history of making “racist comments” and an interest in “QAnon-level conspiracy theories.”
Lester is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday (June 1) after pleading not guilty to the charges.
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