Missouri Judge Grants Motion to Seal Evidence in Criminal Case of Teen Shooting


The incident occurred when the 16-year-old went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings.

Criminal Case of Teen Shooting
Criminal Case of Teen Shooting ( Photo: Los Angeles Times )

A judge in Missouri has granted a motion to seal evidence in the criminal case involving Andrew Lester, who allegedly shot and injured Ralph Yarl, a Black teen

Lester’s attorneys argued that media attention surrounding the case had led to threats against their client and that ongoing reporting could hinder his chances of receiving a fair trial. The judge, in support of the motion, stated that the evidence presented and the exhibits admitted into the case necessitated closure for “good cause.” The threats and harassment directed at the defendant indicated that his life and physical safety were at risk.

Lester had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in April. He was released on a $200,000 bond. Ralph’s family is being represented by Ben Crump, who expressed his disagreement with the judge’s decision. Crump emphasized the importance of transparency in this case, stating that too often, injustice is perpetuated when things happen behind closed doors.

The incident occurred when Ralph mistakenly rang Lester’s doorbell at the address of 1100 NE 115th Street instead of 1100 NE 115th Terrace

In response, Lester shot Ralph in the head and arm, claiming he thought the teenager was attempting to break into his home and that he was scared due to the boy’s size.

Ralph’s mother, Cleo Nagbe, provided an update on her son’s condition during a media conference, stating that he was doing remarkably well physically. She mentioned that their focus now is on helping him have a normal senior year and overcoming the challenges they face on a daily basis. The case has garnered significant attention, with people worldwide observing to see if there will be accountability and justice for the teenage victim.


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