MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) – A judge in central Louisiana is set to hear a defense attorney’s request to reduce the $1 million bond for one of two deputy city marshals charged with murder for the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old boy.
State District Judge William Bennett was expected to hear witness testimony Thursday during Derrick Stafford’s bond reduction hearing. Stafford’s lawyer, Jonathan Goins, declined to identify the witnesses he intends to call.
“Suffice it to say, that we believe that Mr. Stafford’s bond is presently set in an excessive amount, and that it should, both for legal and factual reasons, and in justice, be greatly reduced,” Goins wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Last Thursday, an Avoyelles Parish grand jury indicted Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.
Police say the two Marksville deputy marshals opened fire on a car driven by Chris Few, killing his son, Jeremy Mardis, and critically wounding Few on the night of Nov. 3. Mardis had five gunshot wounds and his father had two, according to police.
Stafford, 32, of Mansura, has remained in jail since his arrest last month. Greenhouse, 24, of Marksville, already has been freed from jail on $1 million bond.
Video from Marksville Police Sgt. Kenneth Parnell III’s body camera shows that Few’s empty hands are raised and visible inside the vehicle “when gunfire becomes audible,” according to a State Police investigator’s report. Parnell told investigators he didn’t fire his own weapon because “he didn’t fear for his life,” the report says.
The report doesn’t explain why Greenhouse began pursuing Few’s vehicle before Stafford and another deputy marshal, Jason Brouillette, joined in the pursuit. Parnell also joined the pursuit before it ended at an intersection where Stafford and Greenhouse exited their vehicles and opened fire on Few’s vehicle.