We’ve heard the press statements, and some of it is pretty obviously slanted. Andrew Branca has done a couple of videos on it so far.

Yesterday, he brought up that you can use deadly force under other circumstances than in protection of self or others. In this case, he brought up Missouri laws on defense of highly defensible property.

The currently known facts show that Ralph Yarl was on Lester’s property. He was found shot on Lester’s property. We know that Yarl was 16 years old, large, black, and six foot tall or a bit more.

This can be seen as intimidating.

563.031. Use of force in defense of persons.

  1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person, unless:
    1. The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case his or her use of force is nevertheless justifiable provided:
      1. He or she has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened use of unlawful force; or
      2. He or she is a law enforcement officer and as such is an aggressor pursuant to section 563.046; or
      3. The aggressor is justified under some other provision of this chapter or other provision of law;
    2. Under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the person whom he or she seeks to protect would not be justified in using such protective force;
    3. The actor was attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of a forcible felony.
  2. A person shall not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:
    1. He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony;
    2. Such 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; or
    3. Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual, or is occupied by an individual who has been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property, claiming a justification of using protective force under this section.
  3. A person does not have a duty to retreat:
    1. From a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully remaining;
    2. From private property that is owned or leased by such individual; or
    3. If the person is in any other location such person has the right to be.
  4. The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of physical restraint as protective force provided that the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so.
  5. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section. If a defendant asserts that his or her use of force is described under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the burden shall then be on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the use of such force was necessary to defend against what he or she reasonably believed was the use or imminent use of unlawful force.

Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo Section 563.031

The words in red are the ones to note. The question before the court is likely to become “Was Yarl attempting to unlawful enter as perceived by a reasonable person?” If this happens it is likely that the shooter will be found not guilty.

On the other hand, black person shot by white man, chances of white man getting convicted is damn high, even with no other evidence but for the skin color.

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By awa

5 thoughts on “The Law in the Andrew Lester Shooting”
  1. I have heard that Lester opened the inner door and shot Yarl through the outer door. Obviously, I have no assessment of the accuracy of that tidbit.

    One might say that, had Lester not opened the door but instead verbally challenged through the door, this would not have gone down this way.

    Yes, I understand highly defensible property. Also, shooting someone is not my go-to solution, either.

    Just sayin’.

      1. Clearly, I do not claim to have a second-by-second account. Just a comment based on what I heard. Lighten up, Francis.

  2. So far from what I’m hearing this could be an unfortunate case of a genuine mistake being made by Yarl. I’ve certainly been in similar shoes. There is also no evidence I’ve seen yet of any racial component.
    That also does not invalidate the legality of the shooting.
    Though if it is true that Yarl was shot through the second door after the first was opened, the necessity and moralitt is certainly questionable, even if legally permitted.
    Kinds of a fucked situation all around where neither party necessarily did anything wrong at this point.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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