Bond set at $1M each for officers involved in fatal shooting of 6-year-old, gag order issued

Bond set at $1M each for officers involved in fatal shooting of 6-year-old, gag order issued
Published: Nov. 9, 2015 at 4:07 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2015 at 10:40 PM CST
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Jeremy Mardis (Source: Family member)
Jeremy Mardis (Source: Family member)

MARKSVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Marksville Police officers and Ward 2 City Marshal Deputies 32-year-old Derrick Stafford and 23-year-old Norris Greenhouse Jr. are currently accused of shooting and killing a six year old boy, and critically wounding his father after a car chase. The bonds for Stafford and Greenhouse have been set at $1 million a piece.

A gag order has been issued for the case. Court documents say:

...considering that this court is concerned that any further interviews with the press and/or media by any parties to this proceeding may unfairly prejudice the defendants right to fair trial as guaranteed by the United States Constitution; IT IS ORDERED that 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 and/or media from this point forward.

According to Chris Few's attorney Mark Jeansonne, body camera video shows Few had his hands in the air and did not pose a threat before police opened fire last week.

It's still unclear what led to the initial car chase between four city marshal deputies, including Stafford and Greenhouse, and Chris Few. Few was driving a vehicle with his 6 year old son, Jeremy Mardis, inside. Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson says "We believe (Few and the officers) met each other, knew each other. Certainly as this progresses, we'll find out more and more information. But I think in a town like this, everyone knows each other."

CBS News is quoting sources as saying investigators are exploring whether one of the arrested deputies had a "personal grudge" against Christoper Few.

When the chase ended, with Few and Jeremy still in the vehicle, investigators say the officers opened fire. Few was critically injured. Jeremy, who police say was hit at least five times, died. He was buckled in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

There were early claims that Few may have been armed. However, State Police investigators say there was no evidence Few had a gun.

"There's no dirty business that happens around here. This thing is handled correctly, just like other matters in this community. This is a good community with good people, and this kind of mess doesn't go on," Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson said.

Few was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Few's attorney says he is improving, but he has not been told about his son's death.

Stafford and Greenhouse both face charges of second degree murder, for the death of Mardis; 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, according to the spokesman for the AG's office.

Attorney General James D. "Buddy" Caldwell issued the following statement today:

Today, my office received a recusal order from the 12th Judicial District Court in Avoyelles Parish in the case: State of Louisiana vs. Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse, Jr., involving the shooting death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis.

Procedurally, we will begin a detailed and thorough investigation, leaving no stone unturned. I can simply assure you that at the end of the process, justice will be served.

Serious cases such as this are often referred to our office for handling. We have excellent personnel and resources to properly pursue such matters, and we will do so.

Both Norris 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 have been moved to the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Because they are officers, it is standard procedure that they be put in isolation while they are in custody.

Jeremy Mardis will be laid to rest in Hattiesburg, MS, on Monday, November 9.

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