Judge denies youthful offender status for accused Ladd-Peebles mass shooter

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UPDATE (4/30) — Mobile Circuit Court Judge James Patterson has denied Deangelo Parnell the treatment for youthful offender.

Parnell is expected back in court for his arraignment on May 13, 2021.

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The man facing nine attempted murder charges for a mass shooting at Ladd-Peebles Stadium was in court on Thursday, April 22. Deangelo Parnell appeared virtually before the court for a youthful offender status hearing.

One of the defense’s biggest arguments for youthful offender status comes from the mother of one of the victims. Parnell’s attorney said one of the shooting victim’s mothers previously spoke in court, telling the judge she believes Parnell deserves a second chance.

Chase Dearman, who is representing Parnell, told cameras outside the courtroom, “We can’t comment on youthful offender hearings.”

The attorney may not have been able to speak on camera, but he said quite a bit in the courtroom, arguing that while his client was 17 at the time of the shooting, he believes youth played a factor. The defense also argued Parnell did not go to the game intending to fire his weapon. They suggested he might have fired shots in self defense. After the hearing, WKRG News 5 has confirmed there has only been one arrest made in the mass shooting. Although, less than one month after it happened, Mobile Police confirmed a second person fired shots.

If Parnell were granted youthful offender status, he would have a bench trial and could receive a maximum three-year sentence for the mass shooting.

More than once the defense reminded the judge a mother of a shooting victim spoke in favor of the youthful offender status.

Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Wright said, “We certainly respect her opinion, but there are also other victims in this case, and we believe that this defendant should be denied youthful offender status.”

While in the hearing, Wright talked about Parnell’s disciplinary record with Mobile County Public Schools and his behavioral problems while in Metro Jail. Wright cited at least 16 infractions during Parnell’s time in the school system, as well as at least one incident in jail on December 31, 2020.

Wright said, “It was an issue with a robbery and an assault with an inmate that he was, there was a disciplinary in regard to that, and the state pointed that out that his behavior had not been in an excellent manner since the time that he was incarcerated.”

Judge Patterson did not say how long it would be until he is ready to issue his ruling on the youthful offender status.

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