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Crime News

5 Teens Who Allegedly Robbed And Fatally Shot Nashville Musician Should Be Tried As Adults, Prosecutors Say

Five teens between the ages of 12 and 16 have been charged with criminal homicide after allegedly robbing and then fatally shooting Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Five teens who were charged in the killing of Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets should be tried as adults, prosecutors argued late last week.

The teens are accused of shooting and killing Yorlets, 24, after robbing him outside of his home on Thursday, the Nashville Police department said. The kids approached Yorlets in the alley behind his house at around 3 p.m. that day, according to The Nashville Tennessean. They demanded his wallet and he obliged, but police believe the teens shot Yorlets after they demanded he hand over his car keys and he refused, according to the outlet.

The teens fled after the shooting, while Yorlets made it back into his home after being shot, where he was found by a roommate, police said. He was quickly transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to authorities.

The Juvenile Crime Task Force, Youth Services detectives and North Precinct detectives worked together to locate the teens at a Walmart in West Nashville later that evening and took all five into custody, police said in a news release. The group was found with two different guns that had both been reported stolen, as had the car they drove to the Walmart, police said. The vehicle they drove to the alley behind Yorlet’s house, and then ditched after the shooting, was also stolen and later recovered, police said.

The group of five, whose ages range from 12 to 16, were all charged with criminal homicide on Thursday, police said. Prosecutors want to try all five of them as adults, The Nashville Tennessean reports.

An attorney for the 12-year-old girl said in a hearing in juvenile court on Friday that his client should not be tried as an adult and claimed that the child cooperated with police following her arrest, according to the outlet. Assistant District Attorney Stacy Miller reportedly did not agree.

“She didn’t run from there, and she didn’t call the police. She’s as guilty as they are,” Miller said.

Nashville police have identified 16-year-old Decorrius Wright, 14-year-old Roniyah McKnight, and 15-year-old Diamond Lewis (pictured above from left to right) as three of the five suspects. The other two, a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, cannot be publicly identified due to Tennessee law, police said.

Authorities have not yet said which teen shot Yorlets, but police spokesman Don Aaron said that “none of the five individuals is a stranger to the system or this police department,” according to The Nashville Tennessean.

Police had already been searching for the 12-year-old girl on the morning of the shooting because she’d run away from home, the outlet reports. After they came across Snapchat posts that showed the child in a car “with other young people with guns,” they surmised that the group with the 12-year-old matched the description of suspects who witnesses connected to Yorlets’ shooting, police said, per The Nashville Tennessean.

Yorlets, originally from Pennsylvania and an alumni of Nashville’s Belmont University, was a member of a local band called Carverton. The group said in a statement released a day after his death that they were “heartbroken” by the news.

“We are in a state of shock and are having to grasp the reality that is now in front of us,” their statement reads. “We are heartbroken. Our condolences for his family and loved ones and all the lives that he touched. We will never forget Kyle, and though he is gone too soon his legacy is here to stay.”

[Photo: Nashville Police Department]