Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets played in the band Carverton. Yorlets was one of the founders of the pop punk band, and it looked like things were going well for them until an encounter changed everything. Yorlets was murdered at his house in Nashville in February. His bandmates were grief stricken. They recently returned to performing, perhaps because there’s no better tribute to their bandmate than continuing the work he helped begin.
The murder suspects are currently moving through the justice system, and once their identities became public, to say everyone was shocked is an understatement. Now there’s a controversy only the courts can resolve.
According to various statements and reports, the suspects “were allegedly in a stolen Chevrolet Colorado truck in the alley that runs behind Yorlets’ home when they spotted him inside…They then ‘interacted with Yorlets, took his wallet and ultimately demanded that he surrender the keys’ to his car.”
Shortly after that demand, Yorlets was shot. Once suspects were arrested, the shocking part arose:
“14-year-old Roniyah McKnight, 15-year-old Diamond Lewis, 16-year-old Decorrius Wright and a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy are accused of shooting and killing Yorlets in February.”
The ages of these suspects created controversy. They’re all minors. If they’re charged as juveniles, they’ll likely get a light penalty for taking the life of an innocent:
“In Tennessee, if a juvenile was convicted of homicide in the juvenile system, he or she would only be under the state’s jurisdiction until the child was 19, Miller said. After that, he or she would be set free.”
Some of the suspects, despite their age, already have a very troubling, violent record. The murder happened in broad daylight.
Yorlets’ family is hopeful the suspects will be tried as adults. The family created a Facebook page to honor their son, Justice for Kyle Yorlets, and to keep everyone informed about developments in the case.
The band Yorlets helped found, Carverton, has managed to return to performing after taking time to grieve. Band member Michael Curry told News Channel 5 (Nashville), “I realized [after his death] having a super outgoing, warm personality best friend is truly a blessing, and when you find out you don’t have that anymore, you have to step up and be the person you love when other people are.”
News Channel 5 reported, “The judge has scheduled a transfer hearing in December to determine if the teens’ cases will move to adult court.”
A challenge for families experiencing grief from violence involves communication. Yorlets’ murder is no exception. On the Justice for Kyle Yorlets page, a post demonstrated the challenges:
“We need to address a statement that was included in the news report from Nashville’s WKRN last evening: “The courtroom was filled with the families of the five juveniles and a few of Yorlets’ friends.” By reading this statement, you may be under the impression that Kyle’s family and friends did not care or choose to be in the courtroom yesterday, but nothing could be further from the truth. Notification to Kyle’s family that the detention hearing was scheduled for yesterday came from a reporter who called the family late Friday afternoon and kindly shared an email from the court administrator. There was no time for PA or TN family or friends to de-conflict schedules to attend the hearing. This was highly frustrating to them and particularly painful to bear. We are not seeking negative comments, only wanting to set the record straight regarding support for Kyle. We love him and intend to represent him to the best of our ability at all times. Please never forget that, and thank you for all of your kindness and support over the last five months.”
The dreams of a talented musician were murdered the night that group of teens converged on Kyle Yorlets. As for those teens, it doesn’t look like they had any dreams other than violence, in my opinion. It’s too bad all the families of those five accused juveniles who showed up in court didn’t show up more as those teens, now facing a variety of charges for violence, were progressing towards actions that created a nightmare for Yorlets’ family and the community where he lived.
The suspects have requested bail. Hopefully, judges in Tennessee have more respect for the murder victim than to grant any kind of reprieve.
(Kay B. Day/Aug. 14, 2019)