Juveniles accused of killing Nashville musician appear in court


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The five juveniles charged with the murder of Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets appeared in Davidson County Juvenile Court Monday. 

The hearing was held to discuss whether the teens would be held in detention or released-with or without bond. 

Fifteen-year-old Diamond Lewis, 14-year-old Roniyah McKnight and 16-year-old Decorrious Wright, as well as a 13-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, who cannot be named publicly under Tennessee law, all made an appearance in the courtroom. 

The state requested the five juveniles be kept in restraints during the hearing stating that they all have shown aggressive behavior, have been in fights and even tried to escape. The judge, however, denied that request and the juveniles were brought in. 

The courtroom was filled with the families of the five juveniles and a few of Yorlets’ friends. 

Kyle Yorlets murder

RELATED: 3 teen suspects in Nashville musician’s murder thrown out of court for their behavior

One of the juveniles could be seen crying as she sat at the front of the courtroom. 

Attorneys for both McNight and Lewis did not ask for a release at Monday’s hearing. The attorney for the 12-year-old girl requested a release for treatment.

The state called on a Metro police detective to testify about what happened the day Yorlets was killed.

Diamond Lewis Roniyah McKnight Decorrius Wright
Diamond Lewis, Roniyah McKnight and Decorrius Wright (Photo: Metro-Nashville Police Department)

The detective stated that when she arrived at the scene of the homicide they found a 9-mm casing near Yorlets’ vehicle and another in the alley behind his house. 

She also discussed the timeline of events the day of the homicide stating that there was a BOLO for teen runaways sent out at 8:07 a.m. the morning of the homicide.

The homicide took place later that day around 1 p.m.  

MORE: Bandmates say goodbye to Kyle Yorlets

According to investigators, the teens were in a stolen red pickup truck when they spotted Yorlets and approached him. They allegedly took his wallet and demanded his car keys. Police believe Yorlets was shot after he refused to hand over his keys. 

Yorlets’ friend found him inside the home at 3 p.m. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

The teens were then apprehended at about 7 p.m. at a Walmart off Charlotte Pike, according to the detective. The detective stated when police arrived three of the teens were cooperative and were taken into custody, but two ran.

One of the teens hid a loaded 9mm handgun inside the Walmart. Another loaded 9mm was found as well.  The detective also stated that two of the teens could be heard discussing how Yorlets was shot, this discussion happened while in the back of the police cruiser. This was caught on a camera in the back of the patrol car.

A staff member at the Juvenile Detention Center also gave testimony about the behavior of some of the juveniles since the homicide. 

He discussed the reports on Wright, and the 13 and 14-year-old. All of which have received disciplinary action of some kind whether it be fighting, disrespectful attitude towards facility staff or improper language. 

The attorney for Wright asked that he be released on bond up to $100,000 and said he would live with his mother and be monitored by a GPS tracker.

Kyle Yorlets
Kyle Yorlets (Courtesy photo)

The attorney for the 12-year-old suspect asked she be released for treatment.

The state argued the teen has a history of running away, asking for a $500,000 bond if she is released.

The most compelling of testimony came from the mother of the 13-year-old suspect.

She choked up talking about the disappointment in her son, despite teaching him about the consequences of bad actions.

She also said she tried her best to remove her son from his environment of thugs and gang activity by moving to Clarksville.

She requested her son be released with GPS monitoring before “he has to do his time.”

That’s when the judge will announce her decision on the release requests and the conditions.

A competency hearing was set for November 6 and 7, while a transfer hearing date is set for the first week of December.

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