The father of one of the Marksville officers accused of shooting and killing a boy last week is arranging to put up $1 million worth of his land for his son’s release from jail, an official said.
Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson said Norris Greenhouse Sr. is using land in that parish and in East Baton Rouge Parish to secure a property bond for his son, Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, who was arrested Friday on murder and attempted murder counts in the shooting that injured Chris Few, 25, and killed Few’s 6-year-old son, Jeremy Mardis.
No bail arrangements have been made for Derrick Stafford, 32, the other officer facing the same counts in the shooting, Anderson said.
The soonest Norris Greenhouse Jr. could be released is Thursday, because government offices are closed Wednesday for Veterans Day, Anderson said.
On Monday, 12th Judicial District Court Judge William J. Bennett set bail for the two officers at $1 million in cash or property. The lawmen also would be subject to home incarceration via electronic monitoring and would have to surrender their badges and weapons if they post bail. Anderson said as part of the bond plan, the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office would take out a mortgage on Norris Greenhouse Sr.’s property.
If the officer fails to show up at court, “I can come back and sell the land at sheriff’s sale and go hunt this boy,” Anderson said.
Both officers, who were moonlighting for the Marksville Ward 2 marshal at the time of the shooting, are being held at the Rapides Parish Detention Center, but bond is being handled through the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The FBI is playing a role in Louisiana State Police’s investigation into the shooting, said FBI spokesman Craig Betbeze.
“This is an ongoing investigation with LSP as the lead investigative agency. LSP, FBI, USAO, and DOJ Civil Rights Division are in constant communication regarding this matter,” he said in an email.
The District Attorney’s Office in Avoyelles Parish has recused itself from the case, noting that Norris Greenhouse Sr. is an assistant district attorney with the office. The state Attorney General’s Office will handle the prosecution.
Meantime, several public records requests were denied Tuesday due to Bennett’s gag order issued Monday forbidding the attorneys, the accused, the victims, the witnesses and law enforcement to talk to the media about the case. The prohibition came shortly after Few’s attorney, Mark Jeansonne, told a reporter his client had his hands up when police fired.
Some officials interpreted the ban as extending to information not directly related to the Marksville shooting case. Marksville Police Chief Elster Smith denied a query by The Advocate for all of the department’s policies, citing the gag ruling.
The order says it aims to protect the defendants’ right to a fair trial. “All parties to this proceeding and their attorneys, including any potential witnesses, victims and/or their attorneys are hereby prohibited, directly or indirectly or through any third parties, from providing any information and/or evidence and/or alleged evidence to the press,” the ruling says.
State Police refused to release the warrants in the case to multiple media outlets with requests for the public records pending since last week. Several other officials said they could not discuss topics related to Marksville, citing the gag order, even if the questions had nothing to do with the criminal cases of Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr.
Advocate staff writer Bryn Stole contributed to this report.