Musician’s murder, juvenile arrests shake Music City

Special Reports

The Big Stories of 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It was inexplicable, a musician’s murder.

“You wake up in the morning and you read something like that, it shakes you to the core,” said former Nashville mayor, David Briley.

Kyle Yorlets, a Belmont graduate who was just 24 years old, was gunned down on his porch, investigators say by kids.

MORE: 5 juveniles arrested for murder of musician in West Nashville

“This is not something that people should just glance over. This happened in this community,” said Metro Police spokesman, Don Aaron.

“What would any 12-year-old be thinking to get themselves into those circumstances,” Briley questioned, after the murder.

It was February. The city and its leaders were shocked.

Yorlets had aspirations and bandmates ready to release a debut album.

“We really wanted to get his message out to people,” said bandmate, Michael Wiebell. “Leaving practice, said our goodbyes, but there wasn’t a doubt I was going to see him in a couple days.”

An arrest came soon after. Five juveniles, ages 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 were apprehended. Two of them were so young, police would not name them.

“These young people we firmly believe had possession of these two stolen pistols,” Aaron said.

Stolen cars leading to stolen guns, part of a kid crime wave, and this tragedy was at the center of it. According to police, Decorrius Wright shot Yorlets. Diamond Lewis and Roniyah McKnight were the other named juveniles involved.,

All told, investigators say they stole three cars, one in north Nashville, another in Oak Grove, Kentucky and a third in Brentwood. The children are accused of killing Yorlets on Torbetts Street in west Nashville. They were finally arrested trying to hide at a Walmart on Charlotte Pike.

“We just hope for this case and any future case, the judicial system brings forth the most justice possible,” said Michael Curry, Yorlets’ bandmate.

Yorlets was memorialized four days after his death in the Belmont sanctuary.

“My brother, I remember the day you came into this world,” Melissa Negley said. “God knew from the very beginning just how much you were needed here.”

Friends, family, and loved ones shared stories, prayed and turned to faith.

“We are confident, I’m sure of it as I wake up in the morning, that we will see him again soon when it’s time,” said Dwayne O’Brien.

In the weeks to follow, Yorlets was gone, his friends left to cope with the loss.

“It’s just a ridiculous reality that everyone was thrown into. Not just us as a band, everybody was thrown into it,” said bandmate, Christian Ferguson.

But his work lived on in the record release from the group he fronted, Carverton.

“We’re just thankful we were able to finish everything,” said Curry.

MORE: Carverton releases debut album to honor slain bandmate Kyle Yorlets

And while they did, they waited for justice and the judicial process to run its course.

In February, three of the suspects were thrown out of court, a judge accusing them of ‘acting like they were on a playground.’ By August, two were approved for bond, including 16-year-old Deccorius Wright, set at $400,000.

And then just days ahead of another appearance in December everything changed.

The news dominated the News 2 headlines

“We’re also getting our first look at new surveillance video showing the teens’ frantic escape through the front door of this facility.”

Wright, one of four teenagers in the video, was caught escaping the Metro Juvenile Detention Center, November 30. Four days later, he was tracked to an apartment in Madison. Wright ran again from officers, but they caught the teen along with another underage escapee.

At the time, Yorlets’ girlfriend Faith Gipson, shared what much of the city and Yorlets’ loved ones were feeling.

“It sure is a huge relief,” Gipson said. “But I’m very worried about the security. It adds some more panic to a group of already grieving people.”

2019 was a year shaped by significant events. News 2 looks at the impact of the big stories of 2019 with special reports all day Thursday – in every newscast. Click here to read more.

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