An Avoyelles Parish grand jury will consider evidence Thursday against two Marksville deputy marshals arrested in the Nov. 3 shooting death of a 6-year-old boy and the wounding of his father.
Prosecutors with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office will present their case against 32-year-old Derrick Stafford and 23-year-old Norris Greenhouse Jr.
Both officers were arrested and booked on counts of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the shooting, which left 25-year-old Christopher Few critically wounded and killed Jeremy Mardis, Few’s son.
The two officers, moonlighting at the time of the shooting as local deputy marshals, had chased Few’s SUV on the night of Nov. 3. After pinning the vehicle near the gates of a shuttered state park, the two officers fired at least 18 rounds into the SUV, according to State Police. Both Few and his young son, who was wearing a seat belt and riding in the passenger seat, were struck multiple times.
Aaron Sadler, a spokesman for Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, declined on Thursday to say what charges prosecutors would seek from the grand jury, citing a gag order issued in the case by state District Judge William Bennett.
The Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case after Avoyelles Parish District Attorney Charles Riddle III recused his office, citing a long-standing relationship with Norris Greenhouse Sr., an assistant district attorney in Riddle’s office and the father of one of the defendants.
Bennett is also considering a motion by an attorney for Stafford to reduce his $1 million bail. Both Bennett and Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson have said the bail amount is the largest ever required in Avoyelles Parish.
Greenhouse, whose bail was also set at $1 million, was released Nov. 24 after his parents put together enough property to secure his release — and after Bennett ruled that a state law barring attorneys from putting up money or property for bail shouldn’t apply to Greenhouse’s father.
Stafford, though, has remained at the Rapides Parish Jail in Alexandria in lieu of the $1 million bail, which his attorney argues he’s financially unable to post.
Jonathan Goins, Stafford’s attorney, wrote in a motion requesting the bail reduction that the evidence against his client “is lacking and insufficient to support a conviction.”
Messages left for Goins seeking comment were not returned Thursday.
A hearing on the bail motion, originally scheduled for Wednesday — the day before prosecutors plan to present evidence and witnesses in the case to a grand jury — has been postponed until Dec. 17.
In a court filing, Assistant Attorney General Kurt Wall said presenting evidence at a bail hearing prior to a potential indictment is “not necessary or appropriate.”