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Ralph Yarl shooting suspect Andrew Lester pleads not guilty in arraignment hearing

Andrew Lester in Court.jpg
Posted at 1:54 PM, Apr 19, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 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 Steven Salmon appeared before Judge Louis Angels at 1:30 p.m. in a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes.

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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.

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.

In a news release following Wednesday's hearing, Thompson says the shooting remains an "active investigation."

"We are continuing to work with law enforcement to gather any and all evidence available in this case," Thompson said. "If anyone in the community has information that would assist in this case, we ask that you please contact the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department or other law enforcement."

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.