Appearing in court wearing a black-and-white-striped prison suit, and standing by a heavily armed guard, Kareem Blacknall turned down a plea deal that would have given him a lesser sentence.
"They offered him 18 to life in exchange to pleading guilty to a murder that he says he's not guilty of," said Bryan Rounds, Blacknall's attorney.
Prosecutors say Blacknall shot four people, killing Wedell Hill inside Rocks Nightclub in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving last year. His attorney says Blacknall was in the club but was not the shooter.
"He was in the club because there was dancing, drinking and girls there," Rounds said.
By rejecting this deal, the case against Blacknall moves to trial. It also means the district attorney's office will move forward with presenting three more charges of attempted murder for the three people who were injured in the shooting.
Blacknall's attorney says he's confident evidence will prove his client is not guilty.
"My client maintains his innocence like he did from the time he was first arrested," Rounds said. "He feels even stronger about that, and I feel even stronger about this decision today after having viewed the evidence."
If convicted on all charges, Blacknall faces more than 100 years to life behind bars. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.