The Latest: Relatives of Deputy React After Bond Hearing

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Judge won’t reduce deputy’s $1M bond in boy’s fatal shooting.

MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) — A judge in central Louisiana refused Thursday to lower the $1 million bond that he had set for a deputy city marshal charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old boy. State District Judge William Bennett said it would be “totally unreasonable” to reduce Derrick Stafford’s bond to approximately $150,000, the amount suggested by his defense lawyer. The aftermath of that hearing brought condemnation from members of Stafford’s family, who blasted the media and police while blaming the death of the boy on the father, Chris Few, for not stopping while being chased on Nov. 3 by Marksville Ward 2 deputy marshals. But Bennett said that amount was “totally unreasonable.” LaGoins presented testimony from Stafford’s wife, mother and other relatives and friends who expressed support for Stafford, calling him a dedicated officer. 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.

He cited both the grand jury indictments as proof that there’s enough evidence to proceed to a trial and the 2011 aggravated rape charges he faced that later were dismissed without prejudice. Bertha Andrews, aunt of Derrick Stafford, one of two Marksville, La., marshals charged with the shooting death of six-year-old Jeremy Mardis, talks to reporters after his bond hearing at the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse in Marksville,Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. An Avoyelles Parish grand jury indicted Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. last Thursday on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. On Dec. 11, a spokesman for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office told The Town Talk that no more criminal indictments were expected in the case.Stafford and fellow marshal Jason Brouillette were chasing in a second car. 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 would have been charged had they been white.

On Thursday, Goins argued that Stafford’s bond should be set at a reasonable amount, that keeping Stafford in jail amounts to punishment before trial and that Stafford needs to be free so he can meet with Goins in either his Alexandria or Houston offices to prepare his defense. Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell’s office is prosecuting the case because Avoyelles Parish District Attorney Charles Riddle recused himself. Brittany Stafford described the shooting as an “accident” and expressed condolences to Jeremy Mardis’ family, but she argued Few should bear some responsibility for the deadly encounter.

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