Andrew Lester: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

andrew lester

Mugshot/Instagram (Faith Spoonmore) Andrew Lester (l) and Ralph Yarl (r)

Andrew Lester was identified by the county prosecutor and in jail records as the homeowner accused of shooting 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 13, 2023.

The Clay County prosecutor, Zachary Thompson, announced on April 17, 2023, that he’s filed two felony counts against Andrew Lester for assault in the first degree and armed criminal action (using a deadly weapon) in Yarl’s shooting. He also announced that a warrant was issued for Andrew D. Lester’s arrest.

Lester is now in custody, according to the Clay County Sheriff.

Lester, 84, could face up to life in prison on the first charge alone, according to Thompson, who added that bond was set at $200,000. Thompson said he wanted to assure people that the criminal justice system “is working” and said the case was approached impartially.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said in a news conference on Sunday, April 16, 2023, that police took the homeowner who shot Yarl into custody, but he was released within 24 hours at that time. She said then that more investigation was needed before a decision could be made whether to refer charges to prosecutors and that Missouri law only allows a person to be held for 24 hours without charges.

Heavy also obtained the jail booking record that names Andrew Lester. Through public records, Heavy also confirmed that Lester is the home owner through the address where the shooting occurred and where protests have since occurred.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Yarl and his family, and the case has drawn the attention of celebrities and civil rights lawyers, who have demanded action.

Yarl’s family says the teen, who is a gifted musician, was shot in the head by the homeowner when he rang the doorbell at the wrong home, while going to pick up his siblings. Yarl survived the shooting, but the GoFundMe page says he has a long road to recovery ahead of him. He is now recovering at home, according to Kansas

“Ralph deserves to have the future that he has dreams about. He deserves to be the light that shows the world that LOVE wins and that humanity is still Good,” the GofundMe page says.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. There ‘Was a Racial Component to the Case,’ the Prosecutor Said of the Charges Against Andrew D. Lester, Who Is Accused of Telling Ralph Yarl, ‘Don’t Come Around Here’

andrew lester

VINE LINKAndrew Lester booking record.

Asked about the nexus of race to the case, the prosecutor said: “There was a racial component to the case.”

Lester is accused of telling Yarl, “don’t come around here,” according to a tweet from Kansas City journalist Russell Colburn.

Thompson accused Lester of firing through a glass door with a .32 revolver, saying Yarl was never inside the residence. It’s not yet clear whether the gun was registered, the prosecutor said.

According to the jail book records, Lester was taken into custody at 1:48 a.m. on April 14, 2023. He is now listed as “out of custody” and “general release” status.” He was booked at 12:36 a.m. that day, and the reporting agency is listed as the Kansas City Police Department. His ethnicity is listed as “unknown.” However, Daily Beast has reported that Lester is white and Yarl is black.

andrew lester

VINE LINKAndrew Lester

The charge he was booked under is listed as “Assault 1st Degree Or Attempt {Assault).” The offense date was listed as April 13, 2023.

Asked whether hate crime charges would be filed, Thompson said hate crime charges carry with them a lower penalty than the charge that was filed. Filing them would result in double jeopardy issues, he said.

The booking record includes a mugshot of Lester.

According to online records, Lester is 84 years old. His full name is Andrew Daniel Lester.

Online records show that Lester has ties to Virginia. He has also had addresses in Maryland, Arizona, and Virginia, according to online records. Online records also show that he has had a hunting permit.

According to KHSB, Yarl arrived at the “1100 block of Northeast 115th Street instead of 1100 block of Northeast 115th Terrace” by mistake.

2. Kansas City Police Say They Took Andrew Lester Into Custody & Then Released Him Because They Needed to Obtain a Statement From Ralph Yarl

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said in the previous news conference that a “homeowner” shot Yarl in front of his residence, but she did not release his name.

Asked what changed, the district attorney said in his Monday news conference that a thorough review of the case file resulted in the charges. He said that Lester is not in custody anymore and reiterated that an arrest warrant was issued for Lester.

“There were things that had to be done,” said Thompson, including waiting for forensic lab results to be processed.

According to Graves, in the news conference before charges were filed, the homeowner was taken into custody and placed on a 24-hour investigative hold.

Police released the homeowner for further investigation because they needed to obtain a formal statement from the victim, analyze forensic evidence and compile additional information, Graves said, adding that this is not uncommon.

She said then that formal statement would be obtained when it was possible due to Yarl’s injuries and added that Missouri law required police to release the homeowner if there were not charges filed.

“We recognize the frustration this can cause in the entire criminal justice process,” the chief said in the news conference. She said officers were working as “expeditiously and thoroughly as we can.”

“We are committed to justice in this case and every case,” she added.

3. Ralph Yarl’s Family’s Lawyer Says Andrew Lester Shot an ‘Unarmed, Non-Threatening & Defenseless Teenager’ Who Rang His Doorbell

The Yarl family has already hired prominent civil rights lawyers, and one of them released a statement on Twitter.

“There can be no excuse for the release of this armed and dangerous suspect after admitting to shooting an unarmed, non-threatening and defenseless teenager that rang his doorbell!” civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt tweeted.

Yarl was originally in critical condition but is recovering from his wounds, according to Merritt.

A Fox4 broadcast included in a video shared by Yarl’s aunt on Facebook shows a reporter approaching people at the Lester home. “I guess you’ll have to check with other authorities,” a man at the home told the Fox 4 journalist. He does not look like Lester, however,

“He’s my buddy, man, and I love him to death,” a man pulling out of the driveway told the reporter of Lester. “We all take care of one another.”

4. Protests Erupted Outside the Home of Andrew Lester After Ralph Yarl’s Aunt Accused Lester of Looking Yarl in the Eye & Shooting Him in the Head

Protests have erupted outside Lester’s home.

Celebrities have also weighed in.

The actress Halle Berry was among those tweeting about Yarl. “His name is #RalphYarl and I’m sick and tired of this feeling…my heart completely broke when I learned this precious 16-year-old, who accidentally rang the door of the wrong address in an attempt to pick up his siblings, was shot in the head by a man who didn’t want him on his property,” Berry wrote.

Yarl’s aunt, Dr. Faith Spoomore, has given a detailed account of what the family says happened on the GoFundMe page.

On Thursday, April 13, 2023, Yarl “was on his way to pick up his twin younger brothers from their friend’s house a few blocks away from his house,” she wrote. “He didn’t have his phone. He mistakenly went to the wrong house, one block away from the house where his siblings were. He pulled into the driveway and rang the doorbell.”

“The man in the home opened the door, looked my nephew in the eye, and shot him in the head. My nephew fell to the ground, and the man shot him again. Ralph was then able to get up and run to the neighbor’s house, looking for help,” the GoFundMe page reads. “Unfortunately, he had to run to 3 different homes before someone finally agreed to help him after he was told to lie on the ground with his hands up.”

5. Ralph Yarl’s Aunt Describes Him as a ‘Fantastic Kid’ Who Is an Accomplished Musician With Big Dreams

On Facebook, Spoonmore made addition allegations, writing: “This man looked him in the face and shot him. @fox4kc new report clearly showed that the glasses door had been replaced as if nothing happened, and the individual is free to go about his day as if he did a great deed. While my nephew is a great kid, an intelligent kid, a black boy is left with so many broken pieces.”

She added: “If you want to know how you can help me or my family, please tag and share with as many people as you think can help this story grow. That man needs to be in jail. Black boys do not need to die for us to say enough is ENOUGH. Let America see that an attempt to kill 1 black kid is an attempt to kill all black kids.”

In a video with the post, Spoonmore accused the homeowner of telling Yarl, “Don’t come back here again.”

According to the GoFundMe page, Yarl “is a fantastic kid, and I am not just saying this because he is my nephew. He truly is.”

“At school, he is a member of the Technology Student Association and Science Olympia Team. Jazz and competition band. He is a section leader in the marching band; a scholar and one of the top base clarinet players in Missouri,” it says. “He recently earned Missouri All-State Band recognition with an honorable mention. He plays multiple instruments in the metropolitan youth orchestra. He is a 2022 Missouri scholar academy alumni. Ralph can often be found with a musical instrument. He loves them all.”

“Last summer, Ralph attended Missouri Scholar’s Academy, where he got a full college life experience. His goal is to attend Texas A&M to major in chemical Engineering,” it says. “When asked how he plans to get into this university, he said, ‘Well, if they have a scholarship for music or academics, I know I can get it. Ralph was looking forward to graduating high school and finally getting the opportunity to visit West Africa before starting college,” it says.

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