MARKSVILLE, LA (WAFB) - A judge has allowed one of the police officers accused of killing a 6-year-old boy to post bond and be released from jail.
Judge William Bennett granted a motion hearing requesting the immediate release of Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23. Greenhouse's family was allowed to post the $1 million bond. He was released just after 5 p.m. on November 24.
Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford were both arrested more than two weeks ago after a pursuit in which they are accused of shooting and killing 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and also shooting the boy's father who survived. Both of their bonds were set at $1 million each.
According to Judge Bennett, this is first time there has been a $1 million bond set for anyone in Avoyelles Parish.
The hearing was pushed to 11:30 a.m. because Greenhouse was not initially transported and present for hearing when he should have been. He did not arrive until just before 11:40 a.m.
"They have the property," the lawyer for Norris Greenhouse Jr. argued. "They simply want to bond their son out who is innocent until proven guilty."
"Is it an absurd consequence to tell a parent he can't bond his son out?" Judge William Bennett asked the attorney for the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff's lawyer said the law should be taken literally as it's written. Greenhouse's lawyer said it was meant ethically, not for families.
Judge William Bennett's reasoning:
The motion states:
His family previously tried to post his $1 million bond, but it was denied because his father is an assistant district attorney. Greenhouse's mother then tried to bond him out, but according to court documents, Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson refused, again claiming Greenhouse's father owned certain property used to secure his release.
"The sheriff's reading of Article 320 defies common sense; furthermore, his interpretation of the law yields absurd and unreasonable results," the motion reads.
A group of citizens took a stand outside the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse in honor of Mardis. Children held up signs with messages demanding justice for the little boy.
There is no word whether Derrick Stafford, 32, the other officer arrested after the shooting, is planning to post his bond. Both men are Marksville police officers and city marshal deputies.
Greenhouse and Stafford both face charges of second-degree murder for the death of Mardis on November 3 and attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of Chris Few. The Louisiana Attorney General's office will handle the prosecution of the two officers in the Marksville shooting.
Both Greenhouse and Stafford are also ordered to house arrest with electronic monitoring, to surrender all service firearms, and to surrender all badges and/or police officer certifications.
Both officers were moved to the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Because they are officers, it was standard procedure that they be put in isolation while they are/were in custody.
During the motion hearing, the judge also amended the gag order for the case.