Judge to Review Deputy’s $1M Bond in Boy’s Fatal Shooting

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Judge denies bail reduction request of Marksville deputy marshal who fatally shot 6-year-old boy; his family condemns handling of case.

MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) — A judge in central Louisiana has refused to lower the $1 million bond that was set for a deputy marshal charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old boy. Attorney Jonathan Goins, who represents Stafford, argued the bond was excessive and urged the judge to lower it to approximately $150,000 so that the family could afford to post it. But Bennett said the amount was “totally unreasonable.” Goins presented testimony from Stafford’s wife, mother and other relatives and friends who expressed support for Stafford, calling him a dedicated officer.

Brittany Stafford, who testified during the bond hearing, said race played a role in the arrest of her husband of a year and a half. “If his skin color was Caucasian he wouldn’t have been arrested. Police say the two Marksville deputy marshals opened fire on a car driven by Chris Few, killing his son, Jeremy Mardis, and critically wounding Few on the night of Nov. 3.

Bertha Andrews, Stafford’s aunt, said that Few should be blamed for the shooting. “They had no knowledge of that baby being in the car, they were just trying to defend themselves,” she said. Brittany Stafford, Stafford’s wife, said the shooting was “an accident” — and while expressed her condolences to boy’s family, she said neither her husband nor the other defendant in the case, Norris Greenhouse Jr., would have been charged had they been white.

A State Police report released last week says video captured at the scene by the body camera of another officer showed Few had his “empty hands raised and visible when gunfire becomes audible.” The officer wearing the body camera, Marksville police Sgt. Weeks before Greenhouse and Stafford were indicted, they both were given $1 million bail by state District Judge William Bennett, the largest bail amounts ever set in Avoyelles Parish. Greenhouse’s family was able to arrange a property bond for his release just before Thanksgiving, although first Bennett had to rule that the marshal’s attorney father was allowed to post the bail on behalf of his son despite a state law prohibiting lawyers from putting up money or property for bail.

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