Attorney says Ralph Yarl’s prognosis is ‘very, very positive’

Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old Black teenager who has garnered national attention after being shot in the head in Kansas City after reportedly ringing the doorbell at the wrong house, has a “positive” prognosis in recovering from his injuries, according to his attorney.

Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the Yarl family, told CNN on Tuesday that Yarl’s prognosis was “very, very positive,” adding that Yarl’s recovery was a miracle. He said that the teenager is expected to make a full recovery, besides scarring and potentially Post Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms in the long term.

“Thursday night, doctors were scraping off bullet fragments off his brain. Saturday, he was released from the hospital,” Merritt told CNN.

Yarl was initially hospitalized in critical condition after being shot twice last Thursday. He reportedly went to the wrong address when picking up his younger brothers from a friend’s house and was allegedly shot by a white 85-year-old Kansas City homeowner, Andrew Lester.

Lester turned himself into authorities on Tuesday after he was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection to the incident. He was released on bond later that day, and Merritt told CNN that he was to be arranged Wednesday.

CNN reported that Lester told authorities that he was “scared to death” of Yarl’s size and believed he was trying to break in. Merritt questioned this reasoning, telling CNN that Yarl stands at 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.

“He’s the least imposing kid that I’ve come across,” Merritt said. “He is a 16-year-old musician. He is not known for his physical prowess.”

“I can tell you there was a racial component to this case,” Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said at a news conference, CNN reported. The report also noted that he did not expand on this comment.

Yarl has received a wave of support over the last week, as his GoFundMe page has received nearly $3.2 million in donations. President Biden also called the teenager to share “his hope for a swift recovery.”

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