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White homeowner RELEASED after shooting black teen who mistakenly knocked on his doorbell



The elderly white homeowner accused of shooting black teenager Ralph Yarl twice has been released on $200,000 bail after handing himself in.

Andrew Lester, 84, surrendered to Clay County’s Detention Centre in Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday afternoon.

He posted 10 percent of the $200,000 bail, and was freed.

As a condition of his release, Lester is not allowed to possess weapons of any kind and may not have any contact with Yarl.

The retired aircraft mechanic is facing life in jail after being charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. 

Yarl, 16, was shot twice through the door of Lester’s home, which is just a block away from the property where his younger twin brothers were waiting to be picked up.


The suspect was first arrested and released hours after the shooting on April 14, when he told police that he was ‘scared to death’ after seeing Yarl standing at his front door.

Zachary Thompson, Clay County prosecutor said: ‘As the prosecutor for Clay County, I can tell you that there was a racial component to the case…I don’t want to comment on specifics of the case to protect its integrity.’

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves also acknowledged the ‘racial components’ at play in the case.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said that Ralph was ‘shot because he was existing while black’.

He told CNN that he ‘shared the outrage’ of residents in Kansas City over the lack of action.

‘To pretend that race is not a part of this whole situation would be to have your head in the sand,’ he said.

‘This boy was shot because he was existing while black. And he knocked on the door of someone who clearly, clearly fears black people.

‘Black boys, black children, and I think that that is that is clear as day and so I hope that is not mistaken or forgotten the reason why many black people and black parents – myself included – are concerned is because if one day it’s ringing on the doorbell, they can get you shot. Then, then what else is next?

‘This is normal existence in life, and somebody came to a door and shot through a door. Not once but twice. That’s what is horrifying.

‘That’s why I think I’m glad to see this first step towards justice and why we all need to investigate how we need to investigate how we handle this and how we can do better in the future.’

Ralph was shot in the head and the arm on April 13 after mistakenly ringing the doorbell at the Missouri property where he thought he was meant to pick up his younger twin brothersRalph was shot in the head and the arm on April 13 after mistakenly ringing the doorbell at the Missouri property where he thought he was meant to pick up his younger twin brothers

Lester, who had a mechanical FAA licence registered to Arizona, had been free on the opinion of the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office as investigations continued.

Kansas City Police Department on Monday submitted a file to the Prosecutor’s Office, which issued a warrant for Lester’s that evening.

It is unclear when Lester will appear in court, but he faces a maximum of life in prison for the charges if found guilty.

Ralph was shot in the head and the arm on April 13 after mistakenly ringing the doorbell at the Missouri property where he thought he was meant to pick up his younger twin brothers.

Lester shot twice within seconds of opening the door, according to his statement, and claims that no words were exchangedLester shot twice within seconds of opening the door, according to his statement, and claims that no words were exchanged

In a probable cause affidavit, Lester told KCPD that shooting Yarl was the ‘last thing he wanted to do’ but was terrified of the teenager because of his size and age.

The document also revealed that cops discovered a Smith and Wesson .32 caliber revolver with two spent shell casings still in the cylinder after officers arrived at the scene.

Police say Yarl was shot after he knocked on the door, with Lester telling officers he saw him ‘pulling on the door handle’ – something which the teenager denies.

Yarl also told authorities that Lester told him ‘don’t come around here’ after being shot in the head and the arm through the glass at the front of the house.

Lester shot twice within seconds of opening the door, according to his statement, and claims that no words were exchanged.

The document revealed that he was shot in the left forehead, and right arm, with a neighbor telling cops they thought it was ‘odd’ for their ‘elderly neighbor to have a visitor this late at night’.


Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot twice in the head by a white man after he approached the wrong house by mistake when going to collect his siblings

Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot twice in the head by a white man after he approached the wrong house by mistake when going to collect his siblings

A witness added that they heard ‘two or three gunshots’ from Lester’s home, and heard Yarl screaming that he had been shot.

Lester told officers that he felt he was ‘protecting himself’ at the property where he says he lives alone.

Missouri is one of twenty US states which has stand-your-ground laws, which removes the duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense.

The law permits homeowners to protect themselves, or a third party (with exceptions) with deadly force should a person feel it is necessary.

According to Missouri Revised Statutes 563.031 residents must be faced with a threat before shooting trespassers on the property.

It states: ‘[Protective] force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person.’

‘Stand-your-ground’ laws roughly define how an individual can defend themselves when faced with an imminent threat anywhere else; imminent being a keyword here because even threatening words towards a defending person can lead to a justified homicide.

He also claimed that he called 911 after the shooting, claiming that Yarl ‘ran away’ after the incident.

The statement shows that he was ‘visibly upset’ and ‘repeatedly expressed concern’ for Yarl during the interview.

He said he ‘believed he was protecting himself from a physical confrontation and could not take the chance of the male coming in’.

Yarl told officers that he pressed the doorbell and waited outside of the door, adding that the man inside ‘took a long time but finally opened the door holding a firearm.’

Officers took a hard drive from Lester’s home to preserve video, but the video system was ‘no longer functional.’

Lester’s home had signs warning trespassers and unwelcomed visitors, though it is unclear if Yarl saw any of them before approaching the property.

The doorbell had a small ‘no solicitors’ sign on top while another sign claimed the property was ‘protected by surveillance cameras.’

Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson announced the two felony charges on Monday, and confirmed that there was a ‘racial component’ to the case, but would not elaborate further.

Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the family, added that Yarl’s legal team was not aware of what the ‘racial element’ of the case was which was announced by Clay County Prosecutors office on Monday night.

He said: ‘It’s a white shooter and a black boy. The man in his 80s went home and slept in his bed that night. But I’m not sure what the prosecutor was referring to exactly.’

Ralph’s mother told CBS News that her son was waiting for a hug from his twin brothers but instead ‘got a couple of bullets’.

A talented bass clarinet player, Ralph also leads a section of his school's marching band and plays multiple instruments in the Northland Symphony Youth OrchestraA talented bass clarinet player, Ralph also leads a section of his school’s marching band and plays multiple instruments in the Northland Symphony Youth Orchestra.
The house in Kansas City, Missouri had a 'no solicitors' sign on top of the doorbell which Ralph mistakenly rang

The house in Kansas City, Missouri had a ‘no solicitors’ sign on top of the doorbell which Ralph mistakenly rang.

Yarl is said to be recovering, but his mother said he mostly ‘just sits there and stares and the buckets of tears just rolls down his eyes’.

She said that the bullet in his arm was not removed for 12 hours, and that the residual effect of the injury is going to stay with him for ‘quite a while’.

President Joe Biden rang the Yarl family on Monday, and invited them to the White House when Ralph is well enough.

Yarl’s mother revealed that they spoke about music, with the president saying that if his family had to rely on his musical skills then they would ‘die hungry’ – and the teen quipping that Biden ‘had jokes’.

Crump added that it was a tragedy it had taken the prosecutor so long to charge Lester, saying: ‘I think it is appropriate, you can’t send a message to society that it’s okay to shoot black people in the head just for ringing your doorbell.

‘Gun violence against unarmed black individuals must stop. Our children should feel safe, not as though they are being hunted.

‘While this is certainly a step in the right direction, we will continue to fight for Ralph while he works towards a full recovery.’

Thompson, asked why Lester was not charged with attempted murder, said they had decided to charge him with an ‘A felony’ because it was the most serious crime.

Lester was taken in for questioning immediately after the shooting, but was released two hours after he was arrested – without any charges.

Police took a statement from Ralph in hospital last Friday before he was released on Monday, to continue to recover at home with his mother – who is a nurse.

President Joe Biden rang the Yarl family on Monday, and invited them to the White House when Ralph is well enough

President Joe Biden rang the Yarl family on Monday, and invited them to the White House when Ralph is well enough

‘He continues to improve. He’s responsive and he’s making good progress,’ said his father, Paul.

Celebrities have been quick to support the teenager, actresses Viola Davis, Jennifer Hudson and Halle Berry calling for justice.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he hopes ‘the justice system does right by him.’

Jennifer Aniston called on her followers to demand ‘an immediate arrest’ of the shooter.

She also posted the prosecutor’s contact address and said: ‘Use the contact information below to demand Prosecutor Zachary Thompson make an immediate arrest and bring the appropriate charges.’

Her comment comes as a GoFundMe fundraiser set up by Yarl’s aunt has raised more than $2.7million for the teenager just one day after it was created.

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Pope Francis to undergo intestinal surgery and will be hospitalized for several days




Pope Francis went to the hospital on Wednesday for surgery on his intestine, two years after he had 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his colon removed because of an inflammation and narrowing of the large intestine.

The Vatican said Francis, 86, would be put under general anesthesia and would be hospitalized for several days.

Pope Francis appeared at his weekly general audience on Wednesday, a day after he went to the hospital for a checkup.

The Vatican provided no details about the medical tests Francis underwent on Tuesday at Rome’s Gemelli hospital. Francis, 86, appeared in good form, though, at his audience in St. Peter’s Square, zipping around the square in his popemobile greeting the faithful. He also had two meetings Wednesday morning beforehand, the Vatican said.

Francis spent three days at the Gemelli hospital in late March. Initially, the Vatican said he had gone in for scheduled tests, but the pontiff later revealed he had felt pain in his chest and was rushed to the hospital where bronchitis was diagnosed. He was put on intravenous antibiotics and was released April 1, quipping that he was “still alive.”

The Argentine pope had part of one lung removed when he was a young man. He also suffers from sciatica nerve pain and has been using a wheelchair and walker for more than a year because of strained ligaments in his knee.

Francis has had a packed schedule of late, with multiple audiences each day. The Vatican has recently confirmed a travel-filled August, when the Holy See and Italy are usually on vacation, with a four-day visit to Portugal the first week of August and a similarly long trip to Mongolia starting Aug. 31.

In a sign that the trips were very much on, the Vatican on Tuesday released the planned itinerary for Francis’ visit to Portugal for World Youth Day events from Aug. 2-6. The itinerary confirms a typically busy schedule that includes all the protocol meetings of an official state visit plus multiple events with young people and a day trip to the Marian shrine at Fatima.

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My son was born with bulging eyes and totally blind – but baffled doctors don’t know why




A mother is appealing for answers over the mysterious condition which left her son with bulging eyes.

Kobi-Jai Morgan, who is registered blind, was born last March with bruising around his eyes and was unable to open them.

He spent six weeks in hospital, where doctors discovered the structure of his eyes had not fully developed but could not figure out why.

Despite appointments with specialists, medics have been left scratching their heads over what is causing his condition.

His mother, Morgan Nottingham, from Ystalyfera in South Wales, is now desperately searching for answers.

The 24-year-old’s labour was induced in last spring at a hospital in Bridgend, where she had a difficult delivery.

Kobi-Jai was then transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit at Singleton Hospital in Swansea and put on ventilation and a feeding tube.

As well as bruising around the eyes, he had a large hole in his heart and a floppy larynx — the tube that helps carry air to the lungs and contains vocal cords.

His unknown condition means his eyes are light-sensitive and he spends a lot of time in discomfort.

As a result, he sometimes scratches his eye and pushes his eyelids towards his eyebrows when they are irritated.

His mother administers four different types of eye drops to Kobi’s eyes every day and he wears specialist transparent glasses made by Cardiff University.

The 15-month-old has been to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and visited private specialists — but still does not have a diagnosis.

However, tests show that he can see some light and shadows.

Ms Nottingham said: ‘We’ve come to terms with the fact that he might not have his vision for life. But we get looks as it is.

‘He has bulgy eyes and the bottom of his eyes scrape across his cheek. He doesn’t realise while he’s little but it’s really sad, bless him.’

Kobi-Jai can now tell his mother when his eyes are bothering him.

She added: ‘He cannot carry on with his eyes like that. There has to be someone out there that knows something.

‘This is completely new to us. When he starts going to school — you know what kids are like. He has children coming up to him already and saying: “Oh mammy he looks scary”. I want answers.’

Ms Nottingham called for more research and resources that could help Kobi-Jai.

She said: ‘At the moment we have found no blind support centres, schools or sensory classes locally. The closest specialist school is in Birmingham.

‘We want to bring more awareness and help and support other parents going through the same thing. We’re all learning.’

A fundraiser set up to support Kobi’s medical care has raised over £12,500.

Family friends have organised a 12-hour charity walk, five-a-side football tournament and bike ride in a bid to raise more funds to help with his care.

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US actor Danny Masterson found guilty on two rape counts




Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Masterson arrives at the Los Angeles court to learn his fate with his wife, Bijou Phillips

A jury in Los Angeles has found US actor Danny Masterson guilty on two out of three counts of rape.

The star of That ’70s Show, a TV series, faces up to 30 years in prison. He was led from court in handcuffs.

Three women, all former members of the Church of Scientology, accused the actor of sexual assault at his Hollywood home from 2001-03.

Prosecutors argued Masterson had relied on his status as a prominent Scientologist to avoid accountability.

The jury of seven women and five men was unable to reach a verdict on a third count after a week of deliberations, ending up deadlocked at 8-4.

One of his victims, who was raped in 2003, said in a statement quoted by the Associated Press: “I am experiencing a complex array of emotions – relief, exhaustion, strength, sadness – knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behavior.”

Masterson’s wife, actress and model Bijou Phillips, wept as he was led away, CBS News reports. Other family and friends sat stone-faced.

Another jury in an earlier trial was unable to reach a verdict in December 2022.

Prosecutors chose to retry Masterson and this time the judge allowed attorneys to present new evidence that had been barred from the first trial.

Though the actor was not charged with drugging his victims, the jury heard testimony that the women had been dosed before he raped them.

Masterson was first accused of rape in 2017 during the height of the #MeToo movement. He responded by saying that he had not been charged or convicted of a crime, and that in the climate at the time “it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused”.

Charges came after a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Prosecutors did not file charges in two other cases because of insufficient evidence and the statute of limitations expiring.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that the Church of Scientology had helped cover up the assaults – an allegation the organisation has categorically denied.

At the time of the assaults, Masterson and all three of his accusers were Scientologists. Several of the women said it took them years to come forward because Church of Scientology officials discouraged them from reporting the rape to police.

Instead, they were forced to rely on the Church’s “internal justice system”, prosecutors said.

Scientology officials told one survivor she would be kicked out of the Church unless she signed a non-disclosure agreement and accepted a payment of $400,000 (£320,000), according to prosecutors.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed both sides to discuss the dogma and practices of Scientology.

But Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson told jurors during the trial: “The Church taught his victims, ‘Rape isn’t rape, you caused this, and above all, you are never allowed to go to law enforcement.'”

Throughout the trial, the defence tried to undermine the credibility of the “Jane Does” by focusing on inconsistencies in their testimony and their supposed drive to get “revenge” against their former Church.

During closing arguments, Masterson’s defence lawyer said of the survivors: “If you are looking for motives why people are not being truthful… there are motives all over the place.”

Although the Church of Scientology was not a defendant in the case, before closing arguments began, a lawyer with ties to the Church emailed the district attorney’s office to complain about the way the Church was portrayed during the retrial.

The defence also argued that the prosecution had relied heavily on testimony about drugging because there was an absence of evidence of any force or violence.

Masterson’s lawyers tried, unsuccessfully, to have a mistrial declared.

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