Homeowner accused of shooting Ralph Yarl pleads not guilty

Posted at 3:10 PM, April 19, 2023 and last updated 7:58 AM, June 1, 2023

By: Sam Hartle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSHB) — Andrew Lester, the 84-year-old man charged in the April 13 shooting of Ralph Yarl, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday before a Clay County Circuit Court judge.

Lester and his attorney appeared before Judge Louis Angels at 1:30 p.m. in a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes.

Andrew Lester walks in court

Andrew Lester pleaded not guilty to assault charges. (POOL/KSHB)

Lester remains free after posting bond on Tuesday afternoon. The conditions of his bond required that he pay 10% of the total bond amount, meaning that he posted $20,000 for his bond of $200,000.

During the hearing, Judge Angles added several additional conditions to Lester’s bond, including that he cannot leave the state of Missouri without permission from his bond supervisor and must surrender his passport and concealed carry permit.

Other conditions of his bond include supervision with Midwest ADP, monitoring of his cell phone, inability to possess weapons of any type and not having direct or indirect contact with Yarl or his family.

16-year-old Ralph Yarl.

Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot after going to the wrong house to pick up his siblings. (Attorney Lee Merritt)

Following last Thursday’s shooting, Lester was taken to the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department’s downtown Kansas City, Missouri, jail, where he provided a statement and then was released pending further investigation.

Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson announced first-degree assault and armed criminal action charges – both felonies – at a news conference late Monday afternoon.

Lester surrendered himself at the Clay County Detention Center early Tuesday afternoon.

He’s set to return to Angle’s courtroom at 1:30 p.m. June 1.

This story was originally published on April 19, 2023, by KSHB in Kansas City, an E.W. Scripps Company.