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Andrew Lester's Ex-Wife Accuses Him Of Violent Past, Says Ralph Yarl Shooting 'Doesn't Surprise Me'

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Source: GoFundMe, Mega

Apr. 20 2023, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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The ex-wife of Andrew Lester accused him of being violent long before he allegedly shot teenager Ralph Yarl, RadarOnline.com has learned.

On April 13, Yarl, 16, was attempting to pick up his younger siblings when he accidentally went to the wrong house. Unaware of his mistake, the teen rang the doorbell and was shot. Police believe Lester, the homeowner, fired twice at the child through the glass door.

Mary Clayton, 81, was married to Lester for 14 years, and they share three children. She accused him of being deeply disturbed years before last week's incident.

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Andrew Lester

When Lester was first accused of shooting the 16-year-old, Clayton did not recognize his picture that was plastered across the news.

After her daughter called her and told her what happened, Clayton told The New York Times that the allegation was not hard to believe. "I was always scared of him," Clayton said. "It doesn't surprise me, what happened."

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Clayton alleged that over the course of their marriage, the suspect had violent outbursts and would break objects in their home during fits of rage.

The ex-wife, who moved to California after their divorce, claimed that when she reported the behavior to the police, she was ignored and told that her then-husband could act how he wanted in his home.

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On Wednesday, the 84-year-old appeared at the Clay County Courthouse to enter a plea for the alleged crime. Lester pled not guilty to the charge of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. The suspect's next court appearance is scheduled for June 1.

Yarl survived the senseless act of violence.

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After he was shot, the teen ran to three neighbors' houses, begging for help. The third house allegedly asked him to lie on the ground with his hands up, perceiving the bloodied unarmed teen as a threat.

A good Samaritan who lived nearby heard the screams and saw the teen on the ground. He rushed to Yarl's aid and another neighbor followed with towels to stop the bleeding before EMS could arrive.

Yarl, a talented musician who dreamed of becoming a chemical engineer, was released from the hospital to begin his recovery journey. A GoFundMe page was created to support the teen's medical expenses — and has already raised over $3 million.

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