A Marksville deputy marshal indicted in the November shooting death of a young boy was in the process Tuesday of assembling $1 million in property and cash to secure bail for his release from jail after an earlier effort fell through, Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson said.
Anderson said Derrick Stafford, 32, may be released as early as Wednesday morning, but some final paperwork hurdles — including bringing Stafford back to Avoyelles Parish from the Rapides Parish Jail to sign off on the documents — will need to be cleared Wednesday morning.
“Once we get that, he’ll be walking out of there tomorrow,” said Christopher LaCour, an attorney for Stafford.
Stafford, a lieutenant with the Marksville Police Department, was indicted in December along with Norris Greenhouse Jr., 24, on a second-degree murder charge in the Nov. 3 shooting death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and an attempted second-degree murder charge in the wounding of the boy’s father, Christopher Few.
Both Stafford and Greenhouse, a former Alexandria city marshal, were moonlighting for the Marksville Ward Marshal’s Office at the time of the shooting.
Anderson had announced Jan. 20 that Stafford would be released on bail. But LaCour, Stafford’s attorney, said assembling $1 million in property and putting together the paperwork took much longer than the sheriff anticipated.
LaCour said the $1 million bail amount — believed to be the largest set in Avoyelles Parish — posed a major challenge for Stafford’s family.
“Unfortunately my client doesn’t have the means of his co-defendant,” LaCour said. “A lot of people had to put up a lot of pieces of property to put up the bond.”
Greenhouse was released on bail Nov. 24, after 12th Judicial District Judge William Bennett ruled that a state law barring attorneys from pledging property for a defendant’s bail shouldn’t apply to Greenhouse’s father, an assistant district attorney in Avoyelles Parish. The majority of Greenhouse’s bond was secured by his parents’ property in Avoyelles and East Baton Rouge parishes.
Stafford’s attorneys earlier asked Bennett to reduce the $1 million bail, arguing the sum was beyond his family’s modest means. Bennett denied the request, ruling that significantly reducing Stafford’s bail would be “totally unreasonable.”
As in January, the bail documents are being filed under seal, LaCour said, to protect those putting up their property.
“Some people within this case have gotten calls, nasty ones,” LaCour said, “You just don’t want those people getting harassed because they want to help this young man.”
Stafford has remained in jail since he was arrested by State Police on Nov. 6. LaCour said because his client is a law enforcement officer, he’s been held almost entirely in isolation at the Rapides Parish Jail.
“Mentally and physically, it’s been wearing on him,” LaCour said.
If released on bail, Stafford — like Greenhouse — will be placed on house arrest and be required to surrender any firearms or law enforcement certifications as part of the bail conditions laid out by Bennett.
Stafford is scheduled to be transferred to the Avoyelles Parish Jail in Marksville early Wednesday morning, LaCour said.
Follow Bryn Stole on Twitter, @BrynStole.