The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

September 5, 2013

Limestone judge rejects highway shooter’s youthful status bid

By Jean Cole

— A Tennessee man who confessed to randomly shooting a motorcyclist last year on U.S. 72 East will be tried as an adult.

A Limestone County Circuit judge on Wednesday rejected a request by Noah Andrew McGlawn for youthful offender status. If granted, the status could have resulted in a milder sentence for the Whiteville man. McGlawn was 20 on Sept. 10 when he shot Brandon Matlock, 23, of Athens, as he was driving his motorcycle along U.S. 72.

McGlawn later told investigators he was angry with his father because he wanted him to go to trade school, so he drove around and randomly fired at Matlock because he “just felt like shooting someone.”

The victim, who recovered, suffered wounds to the right shoulder and the lower right back.

During Wednesday’s closed hearing, Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones said he argued that youthful offender status is designed for cases of youthful indiscretion.

“This was not a youthful indiscretion,” Jones said after the hearing. “He had a loaded weapon and drove all over Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama for six hours looking to kill someone, and when he got off the exit there was something about the cyclist that drew his attention and he shot him, not once but twice.”

Jones said he also argued that during a bail hearing, McGlawn told officials, “If you let me out of jail, I’ll do it again.”

The statement prompted the judge to deny bail for McGlawn, and he remains in the Limestone County Jail on a charge of attempted murder.

After hearing arguments for and against youthful offender status from Jones and McGlawn's attorney, Dan Totten, Circuit Judge Robert Baker issued a written ruling denying the request for youthful offender status.

McGlawn’s father has said his son has a mental disability, though he declined to state the nature of the disability.