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Teen charged in killing of Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets testifies during hearing

Posted: 8:06 AM, Jan 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-13 21:32:38-05
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One of the juveniles charged in the shooting death of Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets took the stand during a hearing Monday morning.

The defense is making its case that two of the teens should not be transferred to adult court. Michie Gibson, the attorney for 15-year-old Diamond Lewis, argued that because she didn't pull the trigger, she should be treated as a juvenile.

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From left to right: 14-year-old Roniyah McKnight, 16-year-old Decorrius Wright and 15-year-old Diamond Lewis (Photos: Metro police)

Lewis was the first today to face the judge. For two hours, the defense brought forth character witnesses to comment about the teen.

We also learned some new details in the case from Diamond's own testimony. When pressed by the prosecution, she told the courtroom that she was the person who approached Yorlets first in the alleyway that he was murdered.

She said she asked him for money. When he said no, she pulled out a gun and asked again – that’s when Yorlets gave the group of five teenagers his wallet. Diamond says she then went back to the car. She said Deccorius Wright grabbed the gun from her and went back to Yorlets. Lewis said she heard two gunshots.

Her grandmother and guardian, testified that Lewis told her she didn’t shoot anyone. The prosecution then asked if she knew that police found Lewis' fingerprints on the handgun.

Lewis' uncle also took the stand and insisted she’s not the monster she’s being made out to be. He said she fell into the wrong group of friends when her step-father, with whom she was close, died.

Wright's attorney, Dwight Scott, made his case that the 16-year-old shouldn't be sent to adult court either.

Scott argued that Wright couldn't receive the rehabilitation he needs in the adult prison system. He brought in a forensic psychologist from Vanderbilt who shed some light on Wright's upbringing.

She said Deccorius had no father figure and grew up in poor neighborhoods where he saw a lot of fights and death. The psychologist said Deccorius saw his first death when he was nine-years-old. He witnessed someone get shot in his neighborhood.

He also had several deaths in the family in the past few years. The psychologist said Deccorius had shown symptoms of PTSD. He also had numerous problems at a number of schools.

After hearing the arguments, the judge said she will release a written statement with her decision whether or not to transfer Lewis at a later date.

On Friday, the prosecution revealed new information in the case. They played a recording from inside the police cruiser after officers caught 16-year-old Decorrius Wright and 15-year-old Diamond Lewis.

In the video, the prosecution says Wright admitted to shooting Yorlets in the arm. Yorlets died after the bullet traveled through his left arm into his chest, hitting his lungs and heart.

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Kyle Yorlets

More testimony during the hearing included details on Wright's recent escape from the Juvenile Justice Center last year. Outside of the escape, both Wright and Lewis have been written up dozens of times for their behavior in the juvenile detention center.