The attorney for 84-year-old Andrew Lester, accused of Sh00ting and injuring 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, has asked the court to keep new information about the case confidential, according to The Associated Press.
Why? Apparently, the old man has been subjected to various forms of harassment ever since the gunshot made headlines. Now, the magistrate in the case has agreed that the court documents will remain sealed.
The request was granted by Clay County Judge Louis Angles, who stated, “The overwhelming majority of the reporting continues to assert that (Lester’s) alleged actions were racially motivated, which, if believed, virtually eliminates (Lester’s) defense regarding the reasonableness of his actions.”
Angles also stated that if defense materials were made public, potential witnesses for Lester’s defense could face threats and other forms of intimidation, making them less likely to come forward or testify in the case. He also stated that redacting the documents would not be enough.
Andrew Lester was identified as the culprit who shot Yarl inside his home in April after the boy mistakenly rang his doorbell while looking for his brothers.
Yarl was shot twice, once in the head and once in the arm, and spent three days in the hospital. Several weeks ago, his family and attorneys told him he’d been discharged and was on the mend. However, Lester’s torment had only just begun.
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Judge agrees to seal court documents in Ralph Yarl shooting; suspect to be in courthttps://t.co/19VwpwMpWX
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) June 2, 2023
His relatives went on the record, portraying him as a racist, paranoid, and aggressive, fuelling the belief that the Sh00ting was racially motivated.
Steven Salmon, his defense attorney, filed a legal petition this week claiming that the court should seal case documents from this point forward since his client had been harassed and threatened as the inquiry continued.
Other high-profile trials, such as that for the individuals who ki!!ed Ahmaud Arbery or the ex-cops who ki!!ed George Floyd continued while the public learned more about the case.
Lester pled not guilty to armed criminal action and assault in the first degree. He was released on a $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday (June 1). The purpose of Lester’s hearing is to design new dates for future hearings in the case.
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