KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Northland man accused of shooting a teenager who went to the wrong address is now demanding a jury trial.
On Wednesday, his attorneys filed a demand for a jury trial, as opposed to a bench trial where a judge would determine his fate. Last month, a judge scheduled Lester’s trial to begin in one year: Oct. 7, 2024.
Yarl has previously testified that he went to pick up his siblings but didn’t have his phone — he’d lost it at school. The house he intended to go to was just blocks away, but he got the street wrong.
The teen said he rang the bell and the wait for someone to answer seemed “longer than normal.”
As the inner door opened, Yarl said he reached out to grab the storm door, assuming it was his brothers’ friends’ parents.
Instead, it was Lester who told him, “Don’t come here ever again,” Yarl recalled. He said he was shot in the head, falling to the ground and was then shot in the arm.
Lester told authorities that he shot Yarl through the door without warning because he was “scared to death” he was about to be robbed.
His attorney is arguing self-defense and that the 84-year-old feared for his life that night.
Lester was among several neighbors who called 911. On a recording previously played in court, he could be heard telling a dispatcher, “I shot him. He was at my door trying to get in and I shot him.”
The shooting shocked the country and renewed national debates about gun policies and race in America.
Missouri is one of about 30 states with laws that say people can respond with physical force when they are threatened.
District Attorney Zachary Thompson said that although Missouri law offers protections for people defending themselves, “You do not have the right to shoot an unarmed kid through a door.”
Lester previously pleaded not guilty. Lester remains free on bond. His next court date is set for Dec. 15 in Clay County Circuit Court.