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Judge denies youthful offender status for two people charged in connection to the death of 3-year-old Kaiden Garner

Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 7:29 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Two people charged in connection to the death of a 3-year-old in Florence appeared in court Wednesday. Police were initially told Kaiden Garner died from being left inside of a hot car, but investigators later made arrests after claiming evidence suggests Garner was beaten and killed.

Blake Townsend and his girlfriend Yalrick Pride were seeking youthful offender status. On April 28, a judge denied that status for both of them. Wednesday’s hearing has been delayed for months, but finally, Townsend and Pride appeared in court to see if they would be granted youthful offender status.

On Wednesday, they were both denied youthful offender status.

Both were eligible because they’re 20-years-old. When a person is under 21 years of age at the time allegedly commits a criminal offense, Alabama law allows them to be treated by the Court as a “Youthful Offender.”

Townsend is charged with capital murder in the death of his 3-year-old, son Kaiden Garner, in August 2020. Pride is charged with child abuse. If granted youthful offender, the case would have been sealed from the public and tried behind closed doors.

This case will now advance to a jury trial. Pride’s trial is scheduled to begin in December.

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