The judge in the case says 20-year-old Corderious McLellan was denied the status because of the serious nature of the charge. McLellan was immediately arraigned and he entered a 'not guilty' plea.
McClellan's attorney, Erskine Mathis, said in his 34 years of practicing law, he has never seen a judge grant youthful offender status for a murder or capital murder suspect unless the prosecution agreed to it. Mathis said the request was more of a formality.
McLellan is facing a capital murder charge in the death of 24-year-old Sheri Williams. Williams was shot in late April 2013 while standing in her doorway and holding her baby. Birmingham police say they believe the intended target to have been Williams' brother.
"He had no intention of shooting into that house and second place, I'm not quite sure he did shoot into the house and that she was inside when she got shot," Mathis said.
During the hearing, Mathis asked the judge to consider a private investigator to work on the case and interview witnesses. The judge said he would consider the motion.
"I want to get someone in the community out there talking to witnesses asking what they saw, what they heard, what they know," said Mathis.
Sheri Williams' mother and many family members attended the hearing. Randa Williams says she could not even look at Corderious McClellan.
"I can't say nothing to him, just let the lord deal with him," Williams said.
She says the family is still devastated by the loss.
"We have been taking counseling; that's the only way we can deal with it. Going to counseling and taking one day at a time and through prayer, that's the only thing bringing us through," Williams said.
Williams is taking care of Sheri's three children, two boys and a girl. The 10-day-old baby boy Sheri was holding when she was shot will turn one on April 15.
Williams says the family does not want McClellan to get the death penalty if he is convicted, because that will not bring their daughter back.
The case is set to go to trial sometime in August.