Filmore had denied Birdsong’s youthful offender request in July 2022, but the Birdsong family appealed, and during a hearing on May 17, Filmore reversed that decision.

Birdsong is accused of causing a crash that killed Barbara Joyce Spears, 70, of Westville, Fla., and severely injured another in June 2021, a month after Birdsong’s high school graduation. The crash occurred in a construction zone on Highway 167, one mile south of the Hartford city limits.

A court record said Birdsong may have been driving distracted or under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash, but the Adams now says Birdsong did not have any marijuana or any substance in his blood.

In October 2021, a Geneva County Grand Jury indicted Birdsong, 18 at the time of the crash, on one count of reckless manslaughter and one count of second-degree assault

Adams said some of the victims’ families attended the recent status hearing and argued against the granting of youthful offender status.