The White Man Who Shot Ralph Yarl’s Case Just Took a New L

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Photo: AP, GoFundMe

As if things weren’t bad enough for ol’ Andrew Lester, the white man accused of shooting and injuring 16-year-old Ralph Yarl after he’d mistakenly rung his doorbell, they just got a little worse.

Cleo Nagbe filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son claiming the 86-year-old homeowner “carelessly” and “negligently” shot at the teen without warning that nearly fatal night last year. Yarl told detectives he was looking to pick up his siblings when he arrived at the wrong home. After ringing the doorbell, he claims Lester shot at him twice through the glass door hitting his arm and head. Police say Lester called 911 after the shooting as Yarl fled down the street bloodied and looking for help.


Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt told The AP the suit is largely based on Lester’s statement to the police where he claimed he thought Yarl was a criminal trying to break into his home.

“If he’s saying, ‘I mistakenly thought this person was a robber,’ we’re saying that’s negligence. You weren’t paying close enough attention. Everybody who rings your doorbell can’t be a robber,” said Merritt.


Read more about the suit from The AP:

The lawsuit also names the homeowner’s association, Highland Acres Homes Association, Inc., as a defendant. The association did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

Merritt said the family is aware the litigation might be delayed pending the outcome of the criminal case but wanted to still begin the process. He cited state law that allows the victim access to the criminal case records that has not yet been satisfied, as the prosecutor seeks clarification from the judge on the case’s gag order.


The suit only applies more pressure on Lester as he awaits trial. He previously entered a not guilty plea to felony assault in the first degree and one count of armed criminal action, court records show.

The complaint demands financial compensation “in excess of the court’s jurisdictional limit.”