Legal expert weighs in on release of former deputy convicted in death of 6-year-old

Norris Greenhouse Jr.
Norris Greenhouse Jr.
Updated: Jul. 1, 2019 at 10:10 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARKSVILLE, La. (WAFB) - Former Marksville deputy marshal Norris Greenhouse, Jr. is now mostly a free man, less than two years after being sentenced for his role in the 2015 shooting death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis.

“I think people are upset by that because there’s a young person and the young person is dead,” said Attorney Jarrett Ambeau.

Despite the deadly circumstances, Greenhouse took a plea deal back in October 2017 for negligent homicide and malfeasance in office. Under Louisiana law, both are considered non-violent crimes. While Greenhouse may no longer be in prison, Ambeau, who is not affiliated with the case, says he still faces lasting consequences.

"He's going to be monitored and made sure not to do things. He's lost his ability to be an officer and his career and all these things and so it isn't as if he's walking out of the jail Scott free now. He still obviously has some very strong consequences to face over the coming years and probably the rest of his life now," said Ambeau.

In total, he was given 7-and-a-half years in prison but now has served 35 percent of his sentence. Natalie LaBorde, executive counsel for the Louisiana Department of Corrections, says a number of factors, including time served and good behavior helped speed up the process. She also says Greenhouse got credit for taking steps toward rehabilitation.

"He took some anger management courses and then some college level courses as well and he earned 300 days off his sentence which is quite a bit so he took advantage of a lot of programs,”said LaBorde.

WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked Ambeau if anyone else who got the same charges, law enforcement or not, would have gotten the same opportunity to reduce their sentence.

“Anyone else who would have had the consecutive sentence of I think it was five and two years is what it was, would have done 35 percent of that seven years,” said Ambeau. “He has not been given any special circumstance."

Ambeau says, bottom line, his release is appropriate and Greenhouse is now entitled to the same rights and everyone else.

"The state offered him this sentence, he took it and now he's done his time and though it might be difficult, he has a right to be released within the law," said Ambeau.

The other former officer who was convicted in the case, Derrick Stafford, is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.