Two deputy Marksville city marshals on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the November shooting death of a 6-year-old boy and the wounding of the boy’s father during a chase.
Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 24, entered the pleas in Avoyelles Parish court Tuesday afternoon.
State District Judge William Bennett set Stafford’s trial for Sept. 26 and Greenhouse’s trial for Nov. 28, Louisiana Attorney General’s Office spokesman Aaron Sadler said.
An Avoyelles Parish grand jury indicted the two officers Dec. 17 on one count each of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.
The officers are accused of shooting into an SUV driven by 25-year-old Christopher Few, wounding him with a shot to the head, and killing his 6-year-old son, Jeremy Mardis.
Video of the November shooting was captured on the body camera of a Marksville police officer who also responded to the scene.
A Louisiana State Police report describing the video says Few had his “empty hands raised and visible when gunfire becomes audible.”
The two officers, moonlighting at the time as deputy city marshals, had chased Few’s SUV that night. Few was in the driver’s seat, while his young son sat next to him. It is unclear what caused the officers to initiate the chase and why Few fled from the officers.
Greenhouse was released from jail after his family posted a $1 million bail Nov. 24. Other bail conditions imposed by the judge require Greenhouse to remain at home, wear a monitoring device and surrender all weapons and law enforcement certifications.
Stafford, whose bail is also set at $1 million, remains in jail, awaiting trial. Bennett denied a request to reduce Stafford’s bail, which his attorney, Jonathan Goins, argued is far beyond the financial means of the officer and his family.
Goins asked Bennett on Tuesday to reconsider his client’s bail, Sadler said, a request the judge said he would take under advisement.