LIBERTY, Mo. — A month after an elderly Missouri man allegedly shot and injured a Black teenager who mistakenly showed up at his door, prosecutors responded to a request from the defendant’s attorney.

Andrew Lester is accused of shooting and injuring 16-year-old Ralph Yarl on April 13 in Kansas City. Investigators said the teenager confused Lester’s Northland address with a home about a block away where he was supposed to pick up his younger brothers.

Lester, 84, pleaded not guilty to armed criminal action and first-degree assault in April.

Lester’s attorney asked the judge to seal the case earlier this month.

In the motion, Lester’s attorney wrote that Lester is being harassed and threatened. He also said Lester’s wife had to be moved from a nursing home because of the case.

Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson filed his response Wednesday. Thompson argued those reasons may not be enough for the court to seal the case.

Thompson asked the judge to find a way to balance the need for transparency while also making sure Lester can have a fair trial.

If the judge decides to seal the case, the court needs to give specific reasons why it made the decision to limit access, according to Thompson.

A court in its order must identify specific and tangible threats to important values in order to override the importance of the public right of access. If the reasons for closure are not cited with specificity, the presumption of openness will not be overcome.

Response filed by Zachary Thompson

The judge has not said when he will rule on the motion.

Lester is scheduled to be in court for another hearing on June 1.