The Investigators: Did a 3rd officer shoot in Marksville?

Marksville Shooting Diagram (Above)
Marksville Shooting Diagram (Above)

MARKSVILLE, LA (WAFB) - There's a new piece of evidence that could put a new wrinkle in the trial of two Marksville City Ward deputies accused of murder. Could a third officer on the scene that night have also fired his weapon?

Defense attorney Jonathan Goins said a trajectory diagram of the deadly Marksville shooting from November 2015 shows the directions of the 18 bullets that were fired. Some of them killed Jeremy Mardis, 6, and others injured his father, Christopher Few.

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On the left of the trajectory diagram, there are three figures. Two of those are deputy marshals Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. During pre-trial hearings, the lead detective on the case testified that 14 of the 18 shots came from Stafford's gun and the other four came from Greenhouse's.

On the right, there is one trajectory by itself. Stafford's lawyer said that shot came was another responding officer, Sgt. Kenneth Parnell. His body camera is what captured some of what happened. Now, Goins is saying Parnell also shot his weapon.

"Officer Parnell draws his weapon," Goins said. "If you look at the footage, on at least one occasion, you can see his arm move. To me, that tells me he shot that gun."

But then, why is the lead detective on the case saying that only two officers shot?

"This is not my drawing. This is not the drawing of my accident reconstructionist. This is the drawing of one of the state's experts," Goins answered.

A state accident reconstruction expert did make the diagram. The 9News Investigators reached out to the state. In this case, that is the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General.

"We know of no evidence to support the claim that a third officer shot," Ruth Wisher, spokeswoman for the AG's office, said in written statement. "We are focused on the cases against the two officers indicted by the Avoyelles Parish grand jury."

The defense claims Few was using his vehicle as a weapon trying to hit Stafford and Greenhouse and the officers fired shots to defend themselves.

To be clear, Goins said he does not believe Parnell's alleged shot hit either the little boy or his dad.

"What I'm saying is that there was enough threat to officer safety at the time of the shooting that Mr. Parnell shot his service weapon because he wanted to protect the life and the bodies of Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse," Goins explained.

The trial for the first defendant, Stafford, gets underway March 13 in Marksville.

The 9News Investigators spoke to Parnell, but he declined comment, instead referring us the attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case.

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