Updated information: Ruling released late Thursday evening

GENEVA COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — A judge has denied a request to grant youthful offender status to 19-year-old William Birdsong, son of the Geneva County schools superintendent, who is charged with manslaughter.

Police say he caused the death of a 70-year-old Florida woman in 2021 by driving into her vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.

Due to his age at the time of the lethal crash, Birdsong’s attorneys filed a motion to get a youthful offender status granted in his case. That would have made the case private and keep the public from learning any findings of guilt or innocence or any possible sentence.

But late Thursday, Geneva County District Attorney Kirke Adams issued a statement confirming that Birdsong’s youthful offender status was denied. He said the attorneys involved in the case have seen the order and it will be made public Friday morning.

Birdsong’s case has been sealed from public view since January, when Birdsong’s attorneys filed the youthful offender motion, his file reading “access to this case is limited to attorneys of record in this case.” This ruling will now clear the way for that file to be reopened.

Stay with WDHN News for updates.